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On the Platform

by Stefan Mihalachi

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At the La Borde psychiatric clinic, founded by Jean Oury, implementing the principles of institutional psychotherapy, the therapy is established around everyday gestures and living together, in the dynamic created by the relationship between the carers and the cared for The lack of distinction between the patients and the personnel is therefore one of the characteristics of this therapeutic movement. In this portrait of Marie Dépussé, writer and psychoanalyst, who lives at the end of the grounds of this clinic where she has long worked, this lack of distinction is the motif of the staging. The conversation that flows between Marie and her former patients regularly loses us, at times it is precise and informative, at times poetic and transcendent: is she still their therapist? Is she their friend? Are they still in an institution? Do we really need to know? Marie is on a knife edge: an ageless woman, with imperceptible desires, in an undefinable universe. And in Stefan Mihalachi’s lens, the chiaroscuro image renders her magnetic and makes the floating frame ghostly. She is on the platform, not quite ready to leave, but already escaping us.

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