French screenwriter, film editor and director Bruno Dumont`s seventh feature film which he wrote, is based on the works and correspondences of Paul and Camille Claudel and Camille Claudel`s medical records. It premiered In competition at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival in 2013, was shot on location in real asylums in France and is a French production which was produced by producers Jean Bréhat, Rachid Bouchareb and Muriel Merlin. It tells the story about a middle-aged sculptor from Villeneuve-sur-Fère, Picardy in France whom after living at a mental institution which her family sent her to, is taken to an asylum in Montdevergues, France.
Distinctly and precisely directed by French filmmaker Bruno Dumont, this quietly paced and somewhat biographical retelling which is narrated from multiple viewpoints though mostly from the main character`s point of view, draws a literary and reflective portrayal of a woman whom after being in a relationship for fifteen years with a renowned sculptor named Auguste Rodin and spending the next ten years of her life in a self-imposed solitude, was diagnosed as schizophrenic and against her own will committed to a psychiatric hospital near Paris, France. While notable for its naturalistic and atmospheric milieu depictions, reverent cinematography by cinematographer Roger Arpajou, production design by production designer Riton Dupire-Clément, costume design by costume designers Alexandra Charles and Brigitte Massey-Sersour and use of sound, colors, light and real patients and their nurses, this narrative-driven story about a French author, father of four and diplomat who had the power to determine the outcome of his sisters` future, depicts an abridged and concentrated study of character.
This densely conversational, at times humerous and tangible narrative feature which is set in France in the early 20th century and where a daughter is fighting for her independence whilst holding on to her convictions about her former teacher and that someone is to poison her, is impelled and reinforced by its cogent narrative structure, subtle character development and continuity, the commendable emphasis on the similarities of all the people at the Montdevergues asylum, noteworthy scene of Camille reading in a church and the masterful acting performances by French actress Juliette Binoche and French actor Jean-Luc Vincent. A reverently cinematographic, humane and lingering homage.