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2,300 Ratings

Camille Claudel 1915

Directed by Bruno Dumont
France, 2013
  • French
  • English


In 1913 Camille Claudel was sent by her family to a psychiatric clinic. The film explores three days in the troubled sculptor’s life and chronicles her endless vigil, hoping to find understanding and recognition as an artist, but also to receive a visit from her beloved brother, writer Paul Claudel.

Our take

Before shocking us all with an unexpected skill for comedy, Dumont was admired for his radically bleak explorations of human tragedy, like this stark, absorbing portrait of a tortured artist with a mesmeric Juliette Binoche.

Camille Claudel 1915 Directed by Bruno Dumont
[Binoche] gives a monumental performance here, not least because it’s so contained. The moments of protest and anguish are all the more moving and painful because the Camille we mostly see is an observer, with impassive, barely changing features—gazing calmly ahead, or turning to the camera with an implacable, borderline-haughty look… Camille Claudel 1915 is a film of stark, sober rewards, and possibly Dumont’s finest.
October 17, 2013
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Watching Binoche’s every flicker of confusion, anger, remorse, and hope, we are made privy to a succession of emotions that transcend time and place. This is more a film about acting—both the historical necessity of women to constantly play roles for audiences real and perceived, and about our experience of watching a major contemporary screen actor inhabit a character forced to play those roles—than about linear historical events.
October 16, 2013
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When compared to the opening scene of Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise: Love in which a group of children with Down’s Syndrome are shown riding bumper cars, Dumont’s approach becomes all the more laudable. Seidl lets himself off easy by implying that if the viewer laughs, then it’s due to his or her own moral failings. In Camille Claudel 1915, no such subterfuge is necessary, as there isn’t ever the slightest trace of ridicule, abjection or even cheap compassion, but only pure and inexorable humanity.
February 14, 2013
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