The exquisite oeuvre of London-born French documentarian Claire Simon is uniquely familiar to Documentary lovers. Simon fans, take note (all others, you too): the veteran auteur’s latest is a major work a culmination of a career-long fascination with institutions and the diversity of experiences they foster. A standout at last year’s Berlinale, Our Body is a tender and intelligent portrait of women and their bodies, told through the day-to-day operations of a public gynecological ward in Paris. With care and admirable candor, Simon captures intimate, sometimes difficult doctor-patient encounters—around fertility, abortion, gender affirmation, and much else—as well as scenes of childbirth and moments at life’s end. It is a testament to Simon’s upstanding sensibilities that when she unexpectedly becomes a patient herself, she affords her body no greater significance than any other in this tremendous, tellingly titled gift of a documentary.
“Simon’s belief in the interconnectedness yet singularity of the varied patients is palpable. She rewards our patience with a deeper understanding of our bodies and ourselves.”- New York Times