Reminiscent of Wiseman’s Titicut Follies (1967) and Forugh Farrokhzad’s The House Is Black (1967), celebrated Magnum photographer and documentarian Raymond Depardon’s gripping account of the last days of a psychiatric hospital on the brink of shutting down allows viewers access to a world otherwise hidden from the public. Portraying the everyday routines of the hospital’s patients, their body language and facial expressions that speak to otherwise inexpressible emotional turmoil, Depardon follows his subjects’ individual fates with strict observational distance and enormous compassion fitting Nan Goldin’s edict that photography be “not about a style or a look or a setup. It’s about emotional obsession and empathy.” Print courtesy of Institut Français, Paris.

  • Directed By Raymond Depardon
  • 1982
  • France
  • French with English subtitles
  • 35mm
  • 113 minutes