Skip to main content

Documentary Presents: Claire Simon in Conversation


2220 Arts & Archives , 2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90057

Headshot of Claire Simon

About the Screening

Claire Simon in Conversation, Tuesday, August 1, Doors/Bar 7:30 PM, Event: 8:00 PM
Our Body (Notre corps) Los Angeles Premiere + Q&A, Wednesday, August 2, Doors/Bar: 6:30 PM, Film: 7:00 PM

Documentary magazine is thrilled to present a special two-night edition of our Conversation Series featuring Claire Simon. On August 1, Claire will join us in conversation to discuss her career in documentary and narrative film; and on August 2, we will present a sneak peek screening of her acclaimed upcoming feature film, Our Body (2023), followed by a short Q&A.


A single ticket provides entry to both events. IDA members get complimentary access, RSVP here.

This event is presented in partnership with Mezzanine, tickets are available for purchase for non-members here.

About Claire Simon

One of France's premier nonfiction filmmakers, Claire Simon’s work as a writer, director, and cinematographer is rooted in the “direct cinema” teachings of the Ateliers Varan, a documentary training program founded by Jean Rouch, and her new film—which premiered in the Berlinale’s Forum section—unfolds with the same chat-heavy, observational approach of her previous documentaries, including The Competition (2016), a Frederick Wiseman-like study of the admissions process to France’s top film school, La Fémis; and Premières solitudes (2018), which is made up almost entirely of conversations between groups of teenagers. Her previous film, I Want to Talk About Duras, which blends fiction and documentary, explores the complex romantic relationship between epochal experimental novelist and filmmaker Marguerite Duras and her much younger, homosexual partner, Yann Andréa. With her accomplished new film, Our Body, Simon immerses us in the day-to-day drama in a French hospital, specifically the departments dedicated to women’s health, with typically compassionate and insightful results.

About Our Body (Notre corps)

French documentary titan Claire Simon observes the everyday operations of the gynecological ward in a public hospital in Paris. In the process, she questions what it means to live in a woman’s body, filming the diversity, singularity and beauty of patients in all stages of life. Through these many encounters, the specific fears, desires and struggles of these individuals become the health challenges we all face, even the filmmaker herself.

Official Selection: Berlin International Film Festival (Forum), 2023. A Cinema Guild release.

Words on Our Body (Notre corps)

"Veteran documentarian Claire Simon (The Competition) immersed herself in the daily goings-on of a public hospital in Paris’s 20th arrondissement to produce this astonishing work of observational cinema. Focusing on women of varied backgrounds and in every stage of life, Our Body traces the life cycles of the female body and its myriad encounters with the medical system. From cancer screenings and fertility appointments to a teenage girl grappling with an unwanted pregnancy or a trans woman considering the beginnings of menopause, Simon’s panoramic portrait is by turns moving, nuanced, and rousing. With concerted intimacy that takes on a personal dimension for the filmmaker, Simon reminds us that, in the four walls of a doctor’s office, the personal is political." -MoMA

“A clear favorite of most attendees [at the Berlinale], flooring audiences with its three-hour immersion in the workings of a public gynecological clinic in Paris… The film is a series of doctor-patient encounters, filmed up close yet without intrusion, striving to make visible the intangibles of the physical body and gendered healthcare: how hard pain can be to articulate and therefore to acknowledge; how the language of medicine can both widen and bridge the chasm between the body and the self.” -Devika Girish, Film Comment

“Luxuriant in length but never less than compelling, [Simon] immerses us in the day-to-day drama in a French hospital, specifically the departments dedicated to women’s health, with typically compassionate and insightful results.” -Jessica Kiang, Variety

“Extraordinarily clear-eyed and heartbreaking.” -Daniel Kasman, MUBI Notebook

“One of the best documentaries I’ve seen in years… Simon presents one sustained medical encounter after another, most often in the form of engrossing dialogues between patient and healthcare worker…. Her film’s unclouded focus on the common, often difficult, sometimes marvelous fact of the female body itself, and the varying experiences of individuals of whatever gender who must live with this body, is one of its great strengths.” -Edo Choi, Reverse Shot

“Feels utopian in its depiction of medical care for women & trans men.” -Joshua Minsoo Kim, Tone Glow