Facets Cinémathèque

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March 30–April 5, 2018

Chicago Premiere

12 Days
(12 jours)

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Film still: 12 Days Film still: 12 Days
"Both impartial and compassionate... a soberly filmed but emotionally gratifying introduction to an array of involuntary patients in a French psychiatric hospital"
  —Screen International
"Quietly riveting"
  —Hollywood Reporter
"A deceptive simplicity characterises the work of Raymond Depardon. And it is that quality that makes this latest gem from the veteran French filmmaker and photographer so admirably lucid and so heartbreakingly sad"
  —Sight and Sound
4 stars "A remarkable piece of work... a quietly devastating film"
  —The Guardian
"Illuminating... one comes to it expecting bold insights into mental illness but leaves with a new appreciation of how invisible such illness can be"
  —Chicago Reader

One person has committed a serious crime or is suffering from delusions, while another wants to go home to commit suicide. Every year in France, 92,000 people are placed under psychiatric care without their consent and according to the law, anyone admitted to a psychiatric hospital against their will must be evaluated by a judge within twelve days to determine whether they are fit to be released or must continue treatment.

The celebrated chronicler of French society, renowned photographer and documentarian Raymond Depardon, was granted a unique opportunity to film these hearings. He combines two subjects that he explored previously in Caught in the Acts and Urgences: judicial proceedings and psychiatry. His observational strategy is dispassionate and precise: a judge, a patient and a lawyer, three fixed camera angles, one room, and only brief glimpses outside as a means of punctuation. Despite the relatively formal nature of the conversations, it is not hard to see the pain and tragedy behind the confused, rebellious or resigned faces. Most of the patients want to be discharged and as the judges listen to what they have to say, their duty is only to decide whether procedures have been followed correctly.

Raymond Depardon captures the raw and vulnerable interactions at the border of justice and psychiatry, humanity and bureaucracy. Absorbing and thought-provoking, 12 Days gives a platform to those whose voices are so rarely considered.

Directed by Raymond Depardon, France, 2017, 88 mins. In French with English subtitles.


  • Fri., Mar. 30 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., Mar. 31 at 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., Apr. 1 at 1, 3, 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Apr. 2–5 at 7 & 9 pm
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$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or