La Berlinale, Nicolas Philibert receives Golden Bear for his documentary “On Adamant”

The jury chaired by Kristen Stewart has essentially rewarded directors, already very identified, such as Christian Petzold, Philippe Garrel and Joao Canijo.

by Clarisse Fabre (Berlin, Special Envoy)

Is this the revenge of old white males, who feel a little cramped in the cinema of world author, since the development of the #MeToo movement?

The fact remains that, Saturday February 25, the highest awards of the 73rd edition of the Berlinale crowned great masters, as we are used to saying: Nicolas Philibert received the golden bear from Best film for his documentary, on Adamant; The German Christian Petzold had the Grand Prix of the Jury for the Red Heaven; Philippe Garrel won the prize for the best director for the big cart, and the Portuguese Joao Canijo The Jury Prize for Mal Viver. In the same generation, the German Angela Schanelec is distinguished for the scenario of Music. Thus decided the jury, chaired by Kristen Stewart, 32, the youngest president of the jury in the history of the Berlinale.

If certain prices are deserved, such a choice questions, especially since there were very good films from a new generation (Totem, Mexican Lila Avilés, or Disco Boy, of Italian Giacomo Abbruzzse, who however earned the director of photography, Hélène Louvart, a silver bear for her artistic contribution). Or was it for the jury to take a step aside, while previously three directors made the Grand Slam in the biggest festivals: Palme d’Or in Cannes in 2021 in Julia Ducournau (Titane), Lion D ‘Or in Venice in the process in Audrey Diwan (the event), then the gold bear at Carla Simon in 2022 (our suns). Was it starting to do a little too much?

At 72, the French Nicolas Philibert finally knows the coronation: author of cult documentaries since Being and having (2002), he immortalized the Radio France Public Service in the Maison de la Radio (2013), paid tribute to the devotion of nurses – every moment (2018), etc.

Piece of utopia

On the Adamant is a piece of utopia: the title designates a floating building, located on the edge of the Seine (port of the Rapée, in the 12 e arrondissement), which welcomes the day of people with mental disorders. Philibert happily poses his camera in this barge filled with unforgettable beings, such as this old man convinced that his brother and himself inspired Van Gogh in his portraits. From a place of weaknesses the director makes a kingdom: he does not invent it, this place exists, but it reveals it with the great humanity of which it is customary – the film, the first part of a triptych to come, will be released in Rooms on April 19.

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/Media reports cited above.