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On the Adamant film image

On the Adamant

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Moored on the Seine in central Paris, not far from the city’s main cultural landmarks, is a huge, floating barge known as The Adamant, an institutional psychotherapy day centre where patients are “co-authors of their care.” A sanctuary for adults with mental disorders, the institution is unique in both architecture and approach, offering its visitors a range of counseling, education, and cultural activity, with a special emphasis on art therapy. Indeed, its focus on the latter is such that Nicolas Philibert’s humane documentary at times plays like a paean to outsider art. Winner of the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale, the latest from veteran documentarian Nicolas Philibert (Etre et Avoir) offers a compassionate look at the human workings of this singular care-based facility. Less focused on institutional nuts and bolts than on the patients, the film maintains an intimate but respectful distance from its subjects, always allowing them to speak and reveal themselves on their own terms. Tender and perceptive in equal measure, it is a moving testament to the vital importance of human expression.


Golden Bear, Berlin 2023


Series Media Partner

Community Partner

Country of Origin







In French with English subtitles

109 min
Award Winners Documentary

Book Tickets

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Miléna Poylo & Gilles Sacuto, Céline Loiseau


Nicolas Philibert


Janusz Baranek, Nicolas Philibert


Nicolas Philibert headshot

Nicolas Philibert

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. Between 1985 and 1987, he directed mountaineering and other sports films for television. After making several shorts, he directed his debut feature-length documentary La Ville Louvre in 1990. His portrait of an orangutan, Nénette, screened in the Berlinale Forum in 2010. Since 2002, his films have been presented in over 100 retrospectives and tribute events around the world.

Filmography: In the Land of the Deaf (1993), To Be and To Have (2002), Nenette (2010), Each and Every Moment (2018)

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