© Rachel Van de Meerche

François Pain


In 1966, as a medical student, François Pain (b. 1945, lives and works in Paris) undertook an internship at the La Borde psychiatric clinic in Cour-Cheverny (Loir-et-Cher, France). There he met the clinic’s director, Jean Oury, as well as educator Fernand Deligny and psychiatrist and philosopher Félix Guattari, a trio who were among the leading practitioners of institutional psychotherapy. He was struck by the autonomous, antihierarchical and self-managed ethos of the clinic, which anticipated many of the political experiments to come in the 1970s. François Pain went on to work as a filmmaker and an editor. Accompanying Félix Guattari in his many political and intellectual endeavours, he became one of the main promoters and chroniclers of institutional psychotherapy, thanks to the numerous films he shot at La Borde documenting everything from daily life to moments of grace. He also recorded a number of interviews with Oury, Guattari and Tosquelles, fragments of which he constantly reworks into ever-changing cuts of the uninterrupted film of his life, a journey traversed by the adventure of experimental psychiatry.