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Our Lucky Hours

Between 1939 and 1945, more than 40,000 patients died in French psychiatric hospitals. Only one place makes exception to this hecatomb, the asylum of an isolated village in the center of France: Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole. Caregivers, nuns and sick people work during these dark years side by side to the survival of all for all, with the complicity of the villagers. Thanks to the psychiatrists François Tosquelles and Lucien Bonnafé, Saint-Alban becomes the asylum which receives clandestinely war refugees and resistants. Among them, some prestigious artistic and intellectual figures like Paul Eluard, Tristan Tzara, Georges Sadoul, or Georges Canguilhem. On a daily basis, in a hallway of the asylum, Auguste Forestier, an internee, builds wooden boats and figurines he exchanges with the villagers for a few kilograms of potatoes. When the painter Jean Dubuffet, at the invitation of Eluard, goes to Saint-Alban at the end of the war, he discovers the sculptures of Forestier and uses for the first time the term “Art Brut”. Precious Film and sound archives and photographs bear witness to the inventiveness at work in the hospital, and the support of a whole village and its inhabitants. By proposing a film that immerses us in the intensity of this fascinating story, we will pay tribute to a collective, intellectual and human adventure.


  • In coproduction with Les Films du Tambour de Soie
  • Directed by: Martine Deyres
  • Production : Alexandre Cornu, Jean-Stéphane Bron et Manuel Poutte
  • Writing support : Anne Paschetta
  • Editing : Philippe Boucq, Catherine Catella, Martine Deyres
  • Sound editing and mixing : Etienne Curchod

Release : En of 2019

Festivals :
Visions du Réel 2019, Nyon
Special Mention – National Compteition

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