Disappointment with the film Camille Claudel

Admitted to a mental hospital aged 30 and dead at 78, most of the life of French sculptor Camille Claudel was spent among madmen. At the time of his internment as a psychotic case, based on law, many outrages were committed, and diverse artists including sculptor Auguste Rodin tried to intervene on his behalf.

Although Camille Claudel had been recognized as an artist of great talent, and even influenced Rodin, full recognition of his value was posthumous. Therefore, it was expected, at the Berlin Festival, with curiosity what would have been the angle of the life of the sculptor chosen by filmmaker Bruno Dumont.

The film's title is dated 1915, at which time Camille Claudel was transferred to the mental health asylum of Montdevergues, near Avignon. And the surprise is revealed... disappointing - the movie, almost without dialogue, almost without sound, is actually a dip into an insane asylum, with some of them turned into actors. And this is what you see through delusional Camille, with whom the actress Juliette Binoche has great similarity.

Camille Ali wrote many letters to his brother Paul Claudel, the only family member who visited. And no one knows the way out of the film, what the exact intention of the filmmaker Bruno Dumont was - would it be to show the insane asylum in which the sculptor Camille Claudel lived 48 years of his life? It is true that the director Bruno Nuytten had made in 87 a film about Camille Claudel, played by Isabelle Adjani, which ended just when the sculptor was admitted to the hospice.


Rui Martins


Translated by

Olga Santos


Portuguese version


Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey