T. int.: Looking at Madness – A Party Imprisoned. F.: Michel Brault, Quinto Albicocco, Roger Morillere. Commento di Antonin Artaud interpretato da Michel Bouquet. Mo.: Henri Lanoe, Jacqueline Meppiel, Henri Colpi. Su.: Danièle Tessier. Prod.: Argos films HD Cam. D.:53’.
In 1961 Ruspoli made two other films along the lines of Les Inconnus de la terre that were just as emblematic of his ‘ direct cinema’, Regard sur la folie and La Fête prisonnière. In an interview he said: “When I put together this story, originally titled Toi l’Auvergnat (which would become Les Inconnus de la terre), I just wanted to make a film about farmers. I then realized that in Lozère too many farmers ended up at the psychiatric hospital, and I wanted to follow their stories; these melded with my sociological studies… ethnographic as well, because I don’t see why the term ethnography should only be used for exotic populations. They should have been called the estranged of the earth” (from an interview with Nicole Zand for “Le Monde”, September 20, 1962). While studying the consequences of the desertification of Lozère, Ruspoli discovered the psychiatric hospital of Saint-Alban run by Doctor Tosquelles, whose pioneering methods contributed significantly to the development of institutional psychiatry. The Coutant camera, once again on the shoulder of Michel Brault, captured images of the mental asylum world with an ability and empathy that had not been seen before. Jean-Paul Sartre went on to say that Regard sur la folie “is not a documentary; it invites us with impressive images to experience mental illness for the first time; everything that it contains that is so close and so far away helps us understand at the same time that the men are not insane but that all the insane are men”.