85' 2017 France director: Raymond Depardon cinematography: Raymond Depardon editing: Simon Jacquet production: Palmeraie et Désert
According to French law, 12 days after the commencement of the compulsory treatment in a psychiatric hospital, patients have to go before a judge. Raymond Depardon, a master of photography and documentary filmmaking, gained unprecedented access to such hearings. The only protagonists in “12 Days” are the patient, his lawyer and the judge. With his unembellished form and observational style, Depardon gives us an opportunity to hear the voice of those thoroughly isolated from society. Stories of social transgression, suffering and absurd humor all resonate in one, all-encompassing register.
“12 Days” is also a film about power and knowledge. Expert authority, exercised here by psychiatrists, slowly reveals its power, which both patients and judges seem to be completely dependent on.