OFFICIAL SELECTION / FRENCH COMPETITION FIDMARSEILLE 2010

World premiere

   

CEUX DE PRIMO LEVI


Anne Barbé

 

FRANCE
2010
Colour
HDV
62’

Original version
French
Photography
Erwin Chamard
Sound
Erwin Chamard
Editing
Claire Atherton

Production
Idéale Audience and CFRT
Distribution
Doc and Film


 
The Primo Levi Centre receives victims of torture and political violence. Men and women from more than forty countries, with wounded flesh, memory and being, are listened to, monitored, treated and “cured” there. But what does healing a trauma of this nature mean exactly? Is it to erase it? Or, on the contrary, to maintain it in a tamed form? Anne Barbé’s camera was placed inside this Parisian building for three years in an attempt to answer this question. However, the patients are never shown, the filmmaker made another choice that was denuded of sensationalism and any obscenity. She preferred to give voice to the multi-disciplinary team of psychiatrists, general practitioners, social workers and lawyers, who themselves come from several geographical horizons and devote themselves to this sufferance on a daily basis.
The decisive and remarkable characteristic of the film is not only the question of the sharing of experiences, bits of life lived, but of hearing ‘authorized’ discourses that originate in a profession, a practice and in knowledge. No opinion inflicts its vagaries here; all that counts is the precision of facts, cures and processes. While such interventions diminish nothing of the dramas, they are however transformed into object lessons. We are there in this place, with a rare insight into these asylum seekers, of course, but also in a wider sense concerning our relationship to horror.

Jean-Pierre Rehm
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