Claire Simon (‘Notre corps’): “When we see a cesarean section, a birth, a gender transition, we begin to understand things differently”

The gynecology unit of a French hospital has allowed Claire Simon to recount “all the stages of a woman’s life” in Notre corps (Our Body), one of the twelve titles competing in the History Time section.

The filmmaker has composed a whole with the sum of cases and different protagonists: “I didn’t want to focus on one patient, but on many, as if they formed a single woman,” she explained during her visit to the Valladolid International Film Week.

Abortion, childbirth, contraception, endometriosis or assisted reproduction are issues that she addresses in her work. “It is important to tell it; we can read books, but when we see a cesarean section, a birth, a gender transition, we begin to understand things differently,” the author has pointed out.

When Simon had already filmed three quarters of the documentary, she was diagnosed with cancer and became another case in this immersion in everything that has to do with the female body. When doctors were reluctant to allow her to enter the consulting room when a patient was about to be diagnosed, in order to avoid harsh and intimate scenes, she decided that she would star in that moment herself. “Because I love making movies, I prefer making movies to being sick,” she said.

The documentary invites us to see the female reality from a different perspective and in all its complexity: “It seems that we only talk about women’s bodies from the point of view of sexuality and that is playing into the hands of the patriarchy”, argued the director of Les Bureaux de Dieu. 

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