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On the Adamant

On the “Grande Adamante,“ a house boat on the Seine, patients from a Parisian psychiatric facility come by and do activities togethers. It‘s a space they can co-organise and shape.


The “Grande Adamant,“ a house boat on the Seine, is a day clinic and cultural center for people with mental distress. The patients of a Parisian psychiatric hospital come here to do activities together, but not only that: it‘s a space where they can co-organize and shape. The French documentary SUR L‘ADAMANT, dedicated to the people at Adamant and their daily life, won the Golden Bear at this year‘s Berlinale

Art and music play a central role at the Adamant. Many of the people in the film are enthusiastic cineastes, talented musicians, painters or poets that get the opportunity to realize their creativity on the boat. Everyone who wants to can also take part in planning the week and the entertainment program. Director Nicolas Philibert (TO BE AND TO HAVE) and his film team movingly show how close “normality“ and “madness“ are and how unfruitful these categories are when trying to capture the complexity of people. The film touches on important questions about mental health: how has the pandemic impacted people‘s mental health? What ways are there to battle isolation and create a robust social network? On the path to better mental care, it is so important to listen carefully to the afflicted – and this is exactly what SUR L‘ADAMANT does in a dignified and true way. Psychiatry and medication are a must, say many of those interviewed, but art and community are just as essential. Despite it‘s calmness, the film has a noticeable urgency, because for every afflicted person who is allowed to be at the Adamant there are countless others who are not offered such a place.


Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: Sur L'Adamant
Frankreich/Japan 2023, 109 min
Genre: Documentary
Director: Nicolas Philibert
Author: Nicolas Philibert
DOP: Nicolas Philibert
Distributor: Grandfilm Verleih
Release: 14.09.2023



  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
English/with English subtitles
All languages

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