Camille Claudel 1915

Camille Claudel was one of the most talented French artists of the last century, an acclaimed sculptor and graphic artist and one of the first female artists who made it as far as she did. Rodin was the one who discovered her talent and made her a protege, but also ended up destroying what he created. They developed a passionate relationship that was a mixture of work, love and friendship where the threads often became indistinguishable and which lasted years. Its undoing was the fact that Rodin was married and wasn’t willing to pursue a divorce... After the breakup, Camille suffered from claustrophobic spells where she imagined Rodin wanted to destroy her out of artistic jealousy. It’s true that on hs deathbed, Rodin summoned Camille, not his lawful wedded wife. But Camille never found out, as she had already been locked up in an asylum by her brother, French diplomat Paul Claudel. Which is where our film begins...

It’s essentially a solo performance, where the director Dumont has made all the right moves: filming in the original environment, using amateur actors in supporting roles etc. All of it combined evokes a bleak and chilly mood that helps highlight Claudel’s sufferings and Binoche’s great acting in even greater relief.

Tiina Lokk