12 JOURS / 12 DAYS

The French legal system calls for any individual who has been hospi-
talized in a psychiatric facility against his or her will to appear before
a specialized judge twelve days after being admitted. After discussing
the case with the patient and his or her counsel, the judge determines
whether the hospitalization should be prolonged. Raymond Depardon,
a master documentarian with extensive experience filming both the
French legal system and in hospitals, was given exceptional access to
several of these closed hearings at a facility near Lyon. The hearings
seen in 12 Days create an extraordinarily intimate set of portraits of
individuals in distress, expressing their frustrations, fears, hopes,
and, often, delusions. Facing them, a variety of judges are by turns
helpless, paternalistic, attentive and even tender. But 12 Days’ greatest
accomplishment is to reach beyond the individuals and address sys-
temic questions regarding mental health and French society at large:
in short, what is it about our contemporary world that drives us mad?
The case of one patient’s workplace harassment at a telecommuni-
cations firm sketches a terrifying picture of our vulnerability under
the reign of late capitalism. As always, Depardon remains a stoic but
empathetic witness to the world’s sorrows.

Raymond Depardon

Raymond Depardon

87 min.
France, 2017
DCP, Blu-Ray

Distrib Films US

$350 for screening + shipping