Every year, thousands of students – mostly female – embark upon courses that will lead them to become nurses. A difficult process during which they will have to acquire a great deal of knowledge, master numerous technical procedures and prepare themselves for heavy responsibilities.
This film follows the ups and downs of an apprenticeship that will confront them, often at a young age, with human fragility, suffering, illness, the flaws in souls and bodies.
What is the role of care in our individualist societies? Everything seems to have aligned for a collective awakening over these past two years: elders abandoned and forgotten, a health care system pushed to breaking, health care workers praised as heroes even as they are denied access to decent working conditions, collective exhaustion… Ever more light is being shed on those professions that primarily employ women and whose conditions only further reinforce discriminatory practices. Too many of the professions involved in providing care are reified as “vocations,” excusing their lack of recognition or fair recompense. But is it not the entire social body that suffers from this institutionalized contempt for care? Watching these nurses learn each professional act, incorporating the knowledge both precious and mysterious of one’s relationship to another, stepping forward to carry the weight of vulnerability, of death, of pain, it’s possible to believe that humans can survive anything―even their unjust institutions. As long as individuals continue to be touched and to touch with a true, caring concern, humanity will be preserved. Blessed care.
Tënk's Artistic Director
Nicolas Philibert was born in 1951 in Nancy, France. After studying philosophy, he turned to film and became an assistant director, notably for René Allio and Alain Tanner. From 1985 to 1987, Nicolas Philibert shot various mountaineering and sports adventure films for television, then started directing documentary features that would all obtain a theatrical release. In 2001, he directed To Be and To Have. The film was a huge success in France and around forty other countries. Over the past fifteen years, more than 120 tributes and and retrospectives of his films have been organized all around the world.