Mère Folle. A theoretical fiction. A film by Mieke Bal & Michelle Williams Gamaker (Cinema Suitcase)

Poster Design: Juho Heinola

If your mentally ill patient dies, are you to blame?  For Dr Françoise Davoine, Parisian psychoanalyst, this question becomes disturbingly real as one of her patients, Ariste, dies.  Davoine is abducted and put on trial by mediaeval fools and through the course of one hellish night - across several centuries and countries - must argue her case for exoneration. 

A feature film based on the 1998 book of the same title by French psychoanalyst Françoise Davoine, Mère Folle stages a confrontation between the analyst and her patients. Medieval fools encounter the contemporary world when they challenge psychoanalysis’ bias to language over gesture.

The work offers a constructive representation of mad (psychotic) people and how both “mad” and “sane” people learn from one another.  Medieval “fools” strike the balance between the two by playing the fool, enabling the film to question what “being mad” is: are you mad, do you play mad, or do you only seem mad? Utilising an out-of-the-box integration of fiction, case studies, and theory, Mère Folle is a unique and enthralling journey into the minds of the mad and those designated to cure them.

Friday, 29 October, 20.15: Broadway Cinema, Paulinstraße 18, Trier