French and foreign patients consult Georges Federmann, an atypical psychiatrist. Diane, Karim, Gilbert and many others come from the neighbourhood, the next village or a different continent and confide their lives and stories to him. For some, it’s about finding refuge or a listening ear, and for others, it’s to hold on to the will to live.
It’s rare that a documentary has been able to get this close to what takes place on the psychiatrist’s couch. Having spent years building trust and thanks to the sobriety of a field/counter-field method using two cameras, Swen de Pauw reveals the humanity and the exceptional nature of the relationship Georges Federmann weaves with his patients, the gradual building up of trust by this generous psychiatrist who’s also committed to social work and migrants’ wellbeing. At times, we hear noise from the waiting room that’s always open, without appointments and offering somewhere to go for those who can’t sleep. We also see patients who write their own drug prescriptions. Psychiatric care that’s aware of its power relations and political dimension makes it possible to listen to people’s suffering and, while it can’t make it disappear, can alleviate it. A cinematic, human and clinical success story!
Tënk's Artistic Director
Swen de Pauw is a documentary writer and director. He is also a programmer, including for “Kings of Doc”, the documentary film event in Strasbourg. Since 2010 he has been president of the organisation Répliques, setting up and coordinating various initiatives in film literacy, programming and film production. He lectures on film at the University of Strasbourg and different organisations. In 2008, he set up the production company Projectile. “Le Divan du monde” is his first feature film.