How does Le Courtil function? How is the work thought through and put into practice? How do the staff organise things in order to welcome invention from one day to the next?
In this book, Mariana Otero invites the reader to delve more deeply into the medical institution for children – Le Courtil – where she shot her film Like an Open Sky (A ciel ouvert). Accompanied by Marie Bremond, one of the staff members in the film, the filmmaker looks at the founding principles of this peculiar place. The interviews in the book revisit the creation of the institution, set out its underlying theoretical concepts, and describe its operational functioning in great detail. In the final chapter, at the crossroads between their two respective practices, Otero and Bremond establish a dialogue between psychoanalysis and documentary cinema, looking back on the experience of planning, shooting and editing Like an Open Sky.
The film and the book are complementary: the first enables us to experience and understand, in a sensitive and moving way, a different way of seeing the world by following a small number of children over several months; the second transmits to us, in an accessible manner, a stimulating and joyful way of thinking that lies far wide of the norm.
Mariana Otero is the maker of several acclaimed documentary films, including School Law; History of a Secret; Into our Own Hands; and Like an Open Sky.
Marie Bremond is a clinical psychologist and staff member at Le Courtil, where she is head of one of the teams.