News About human authenticity in the competition film Patrick

Published: July 01, 2019| 12:00 PM

The tragicomedy Patrick by Belgian director Tim Mielants brings the story of the son of the owner of a naturalist camp to the Main Competition. Patrick lives a ordinary life up until the moment he loses his hammer. With the lost tool he also loses order in his life and ends up getting caught up in a series of events during which he discovers the true essence of the camp's inhabitants, who even though they are not wearing anything still manage to hide a lot.

The director was inspired for the film by his own experience from the summer of 1985 when he visited a naturalist camp in the Pyrenees with his parents. "I will never forget that trip. It wasn't even about the nudity itself, but more about the strange beings I ran into there. For example the blind woman who ran the camp didn't even know about the other people being naked," recalls Mielants.

In the film, Patrick, the camp's custodian, portrays a character that is not interested in climbing the social ladder. "As a student I had the feeling that the only way to be happy is to build a successful career and become someone important. But then I met our school custodian, who was completely outside of this rat race. I was completely fascinated by him. For me he was a hero who had found happiness inside himself. Since then I have encountered such people regularly: a groundskeeper at a football stadium whose main ambition is to redraw the lines on the pitch in the morning," the director mused about his inspiration for the film.

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