A subtle and sober biopic, Bruno Dumont’s examination of the sculptor and Rodin muse of the title marks the director’s first collaboration with a major star: Juliette Binoche. Unlike Camille Claudel, the 1988 Isabelle Adjani passion project, Dumont’s film forgoes epic sweep. Picking up where the earlier movie left off, Camille Claudel 1915 traces, during the year that the artist turned 51, just three days of her grim life at the Montdevergues mental asylum near Avignon, where she had been committed by her family. Binoche potently conveys Claudel’s abject state—her irrational fear that she may be poisoned, her increasing agitation over the fact that she was incarcerated against her will. In a bold move, Dumont cast actual asylum patients as the other residents of Montdevergues, their own suffering further underscoring Claudel’s helplessness and anguish. And yet the artist is capable of moments of searing lucidity, particularly during a visit with her younger brother, Paul (Jean-Luc Vincent), a renowned and highly devout poet. As she pleads for her release, her brother coldly responds, “Everything is a parable, Camille.” Dumont has fashioned an exemplary spiritual lesson of his own, one that highlights the grace of the forsaken.
Ms. Binoche’s portrayal of Camille is one of the most wrenching performances she has given.
—Stephen Holden, New York Times
Camille Claudel 1915 is a film of stark, sober rewards, and possibly Dumont’s finest.
—Jonathan Romney, Film Comment Magazine
Bruno Dumont, freely adapted from the letters of Camille and Paul Claudel
Camille Claudel: Juliette Binoche
Paul Claudel: Jean-Luc Vincent
Doctor: Robert Leroy
Official Selection – Berlinale (2013)
RUNNING TIME 97 min
PRODUCTION France, 2013
FORMAT(S) DCP, Blu-ray, and DVD
Kino Lorber EDU
$350 to $500 pending format
*Fees for screening rights are negotiable and may depend on: format, size of screening room, whether admission will be charged, etc. Check with each distributor and make sure to mention your participation in Tournées in your negotiation.