The year 1915 is a horrible one for Camille Claudel (the spectacularly tortured Juliette Binoche), French sculptress and Rodin’s lover. Locked away in an insane asylum, she hovers between paranoia and apathy, in turn enraged like an injured animal and as spiritual as Joan of Arc. Bruno Dumont, the subject of a retrospective at the 11th New Horizons Festival, is a director who attempts to treat metaphysics from an extremely materialist perspective, showing here how other, less tangible walls continue to rise around the heroine. The cold hospital walls and rough hands of the staff. Hypersensitivity that twists her senses. The brutal dictate of reason, which condemns outsiders to a life in captivity. Finally – the indifference of Camille’s brother, a poet, who is torn away from worldly affairs by megalomania, fuelled to greater heights by religious obsession.
Bruno Dumont was born in 1958 in France and prepared for his work as an artist by lecturing in philosophy and making commercials. Cinema was supposed to be his escape from the binding logic of thinking, through language that would enable him to express the contradictions that rule the world. His first encounter with the medium was quite successful: his debut The Life of Jesus received Jean Vigo and Golden Camera awards. Dumont’s later works included Humanity, Hadewijch and Outside Satan. In later films, the director tries to create ‘lay religious cinema’, in other words one that confronts dogma with intangible reality. At the same time, he is also considered to be the inheritor of Robert Bresson and a co-creator of the trend known as ‘new French extremism’.
1997 Życie Jezusa / La vie de Jésus / The Life of Jesus
1999 Ludzkość / L'humanité / Humanity
2003 Twentynine Palms
2006 Flandria / Flandres
2011 Poza szatanem / Hors Satan / Outside Satan
2013 Camille Claudel, 1915