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Poster for On the Adamant (2024)
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On the Adamant (2024)

Opens on May 3

Director: Nicolas Philibert Run Time: 109 min. Release Year: 2023

Starring: Jean-Paul Hazan, Mamadi Barri, Romain Bernardin, Sabine Berlière, Walid Benziane

Country: France, Japan
Language: French

About the film:

Winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.

This affecting, enlightening documentary from nonfiction master Nicolas Philibert invites viewers to come aboard the Adamant and witness the transformational power of art and community. The Adamant is a one-of-a-kind place: a floating refuge on the Seine River in the heart of Paris that offers day programs for adults with mental illnesses. 

“Demonstrates the healing power of art and community. A work of endearing compassion and quiet observation.” 

—M.J. O’Toole, Hammer to Nail

Its attendees come from across the city and are offered care that grounds them in time and space, helping them achieve recovery and stability. Through a blend of therapy, education, and culture rooted in music and the arts, the Adamant offers a hopeful vision of what a humanistic approach to mental health care could look like. The community on the boat is intentionally created so that both the staff and the people receiving care are treated with the same respect and dignity. Their meetings and conversations reveal the camaraderie and collective humanity of a group of people whose similarities far outweigh their differences.

About the filmmaker:

Born in Nancy, France in 1951, Nicolas Philibert studied philosophy and began his film career in the 1970s as assistant director to René Allio, Alain Tanner, and Claude Goretta. In 1978, Philibert co-directed his first documentary feature, His Master’s Voice, alongside Gérard Mordillat, in which a dozen bosses of leading industrial groups talk about control, hierarchy and power, gradually sketching out the image of a future world ruled by the financial sector. Between 1985 and 1987, Philibert directed a handful of mountaineering and sports films for television. After making several shorts, he directed his debut feature-length documentary La Ville Louvre in 1990. Philibert’s film To Be and To Have (2002)—about daily life in a “single class” school in a mountain village—screened as part of the Official Selection at the 2002 Cannes Festival, and went on to be extremely success in France. His portrait of an orangutan, Nénette (2010), screened in the Berlinale Forumin 2010. Since 2002, his films have been presented in over 100 retrospectives and tribute events around the world.

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