Every Little Thing [DVD] [1997]

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Every Little Thing
Several years prior to his international breakthrough with To Be and To Have, French filmmaker Nicolas Philibert helmed this documentary on the La Borde Psychiatric Clinic, a mental institution in Cour-Cheverny, France with some highly unusual procedures. The staff members do not wear uniforms, making it nearly impossible to distinguish between workers and patients; moreover, the residents, physicians and aides routinely pool their talents to mount a series of theatrical performances every summer. Shot in 1995, this film observes the preparations leading up to that year's production of Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz's comedic play Operetta. Philibert uses the events (and the ambiguity of determining who is and isn't a resident) for a prolonged meditation on the often blurred line between madness and sanity; more broadly, the detached observations make a strong case for the offbeat approach to treatment at La Borde, forcing the audience to reassess their beliefs about what does and doesn't constitute "normal" behavior. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

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