After recent films on Marguerite Duras, a filmmaking academy, high school, and more, Claire Simon has turned her eye toward the female body. Premiering earlier this year at Berlinale to much acclaim, Our Body finds the London-born French director observing the everyday operations of the gynecological ward in a public hospital in Paris. “In the process, she questions what it means to live in a woman’s body, filming the diversity, singularity and beauty of patients in all stages of life. Through these many encounters, the specific fears, desires and struggles of these individuals become the health challenges we all face, even the filmmaker herself,” read the official synopsis. Ahead of an August 4 theatrical debut beginning at NYC’s Film Forum, we’re pleased to premiere the first U.S. trailer and poster courtesy Cinema Guild.
Darren Hughes said in our summer preview, “Claire Simon cites Frederick Wiseman’s Hospital (1970) and Near Death (1989) as key sources of inspiration for her latest film, and for much of its 168-minute runtime Our Body does function, à la Wiseman, as a study of an institution––in this case, the various units of a public hospital in Paris where women receive all manner of care, including treatment for pregnancy, fertility, gender transition, cancer, and end-of-life needs. Simon and her all-female crew observe their subjects in close-up; except for occasional establishing shots in hallways and the garden courtyard, the camera is seldom more than a few feet from the women and one trans man, their companions, and the doctors, nurses, and technicians who all perform their jobs with uncommon professionalism and grace. That the camera is likely capturing an idealized version of the daily grind of modern healthcare––every person we see has signed a waiver and is presumably putting on their best face––is mostly beside the point, because Simon is interested primarily in the strange, beautiful, holy machinery of bodies.”
See our exclusive premiere of the trailer and poster (illustrated by Leah Goren and designed by Brian Hung) below.
Our Body opens on August 4 at Film Forum and will expand.