“The Care Factory”: “I wanted the film to look like an opera because the caregivers are soloists”

“The Care Factory”: “I wanted the film to look like an opera because the caregivers are soloists”

After eighteen months immersed in the daily life of the Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital, Marion Angelosanto signs a documentary full of humor and grace, reflecting a hospital that is failing but determined to accomplish its mission. To see on Public Senate.

You filmed this documentary between two waves of the Covid and, however, it is not a film about the health crisis…It was complicated to offer such a film to channels, since they all made ” their “ film on the Covid crisis: from the point of view of the State, from the point of view of resuscitation or even the morgue… For my part, I did not want to talk about this crisis in particular. The hospital was an unknown subject for me, and I wanted to film this place like a company, an enormous box which manages 75 services and employs 9,000 people, in which there are not only caregivers, but also workers, administrative employees, a director, and an extraordinarily complex logistics… The project was then refined, and from the big company, I moved on to the idea of ​​a “large sick body” which arrives immediately even to produce miracles every day. It is because it is dysfunctional that this super large organism – of which the last small fraction is the patient – ​​produces all this enormous debauchery of means, of technicality, of decisions, of expenditure.

What did you want to film from this ” Grand Corps Malade “ ?I wanted to show, when you lift the skin, what you never see: the bowels of this gigantic place. The kitchen with the 4,600 meals, the 14 tons of laundry cleaned in the laundry, the 1,000 parcels received each day… I also wanted to depict what twenty years of breakage in the hospital have as consequences in the planning of a manager , the daily life of a nurse, the decisions of a doctor… How this materializes in the “hassles” of everyday life.

How did you manage to film all these “little everyday things” ?I chose to spend a lot of time filming on location, over a period of almost a year and a half. I was very discreet, alone with my camera. I never interrupted the people I was filming when they were engrossed in a task, nor asked them to explain to me what they were doing. It’s completely the opposite of films that we are asked to shoot with a team in fifteen or twenty days.

“Suddenly it became clear to me that it was the hospital that had to speak.”

You have chosen to embody the hospital through Daniel Pennac’s voice-over. How did you come to this idea ?I love his hyper imagery language. When I wrote the synopsis for my film, I had his voice in mind, his voice saying ” I “. Suddenly, it became clear to me that it was the hospital that had to speak. I told myself that I was going to write a text in which the hospital is a wise old man, who regrets with great irony what is happening to him, who, although he has seen many others, knows very well that it doesn’t take a very good turn. With the roundness of his voice, Daniel Pennac could bring this mischievous side. I wanted it to bring comedy. We really didn’t have the money to pay for a “star” like Pennac – who, moreover, had never done a film voice-over. But I gave it a shot. I sent the film with my voice to his agent and, the next morning, Daniel Pennac called me to tell me: “Of course we’re going to make this film together, because these people are great! »

With its soundtrack, but also your way of filming, editing, your film has a very musical dimension…Music guides me a lot in my work. I asked Pablo Pico, who composed the original music for the film, to draw inspiration from Piazzolla’s tango. In the tango, there is elegance, solemnity, carnality and also warning shots. It introduces tension, humor and grace too. I wanted the film to look like an opera, because these people, who have a lot of skills, are all soloists who master their instruments perfectly. Except that these instruments are broken and that they form an orchestra obliged to produce a music whose rhythm does not cease racing…

Haver The Care Factory, documentary by Marion Angelosanto, narrated by Daniel Pennac (France, 2021). 52 mins. Unpublished. Saturday July 2, Public Senate, 9 p.m. Then available in replay on Publicsenat.fr

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