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ON THE ADAMANT Trailer: Nicolas Philibert’s Golden Bear Winning Documentary Examines the Power of Art & Humanity


The documentary that took home the Golden Bear at last year’s Berlin Film Festival is finally coming to North American theaters. Nicolas Philibert’s On The Adamant explores life in a Parisian mental health facility along the Seine River. The Adamant is located on a floating structure in the heart of Paris, and offers day programs for people with mental illnesses and disabilities. The purpose of this facility is to pair therapy and education with art and culture to assist clients in their recovery processes. The documentary was also nominated for both a César and European Film Award. Kino Lorber is set to release it on March 29 at NYC’s IFC Center, before expanding nationwide. It will also screen at Film at Lincoln Center’s Rendez-vous with French Cinema series on March 4 & 8.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, this affecting, enlightening documentary from nonfiction master Nicolas Philibert (To Be and to Have, In the Land of the Deaf) invites viewers to come aboard the Adamant and witness the transformational power of art and community. The Adamant is a one-of-a-kind place: a floating refuge on the Seine River in the heart of Paris that offers day programs for adults with mental illnesses. Its attendees come from across the city and are offered care that grounds them in time and space, helping them achieve recovery and stability. Through a blend of therapy, education, and culture rooted in music and the arts, the Adamant offers a hopeful vision of what a humanistic approach to mental health care could look like. The community on the boat is intentionally created so that both the staff and the people receiving care are treated with the same respect and dignity. Their meetings and conversations reveal the camaraderie and collective humanity of a group of people whose similarities far outweigh their differences.

See the trailer and poster below.


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M.J. O'Toole began writing for HtN in early 2021 during the Sundance Film Festival. An NYC native and lifelong cinephile, his favorite films include Chungking Express, The Three Colors Trilogy, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Lovers on the Bridge, and Midnight Cowboy. He is the Digital Marketing Manager for the agency 3rd Impression - working alongside Editor-at-large Matt Delman - that specializes in digital marketing for independent film. He holds a BA from Adelphi University and a Masters in Digital Photography from the School of Visual Arts. You can check out his portrait and street photography on Instagram.

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