Berlinale: Programme

Film File

Panorama Dokumente


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Prune Nourry is a multi-disciplinary artist and breast cancer survivor. Born in France in 1985, Nourry’s work in sculpture, installation, performance, video and photography has consistently addressed questions of gender and the female body, often from an archaeological and anthropological point of view. It is not surprising therefore that, when she was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 31, her subsequent projects began to reflect her engagement with the disease; moreover, by training her camera’s gaze back on her previous works, she was able to appraise them afresh and ascribe new meaning to her oeuvre. ‘Destruction is not an end in itself’ is the title of a massive, fragmented Buddha-figure, half of which is pierced by thousands of incense sticks. Commissioned in 2017 by the Musée National des Arts Asiatiques-Guimet for its ‘carte blanche’ series, the work is a reference to the healing properties of acupuncture that the artist herself underwent. In this film, Nourry merges two of her identities - those of artist and patient - and delivers a visually and emotionally arresting documentary that is both a self-portrait and a reassessment of her body of work.

Prune Nourry

USA 2019

French, English, Cantonese

Documentary form
74’ · Colour

World premiere


Prune Nourry
Written by
Alastair Siddons
Paul Carlin
Production Manager
Maïa Dibie
Alastair Siddons
Executive Producers
Angelina Jolie, Sol Guy, Darren Aronofsky


Prune Nourry

Born in France in 1985, she is a multi-disciplinary artist interested in science and anthropology, particularly in bioethical issues. Her work combines sculpture, installation, performance, video and photography. Long-term projects such as the ‘Army of Terracotta Daughters’ have brought her to international attention and the Guimet Museum in Paris recently honoured her with a retrospective of her work. Serendipity is her debut as a film director.

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019

Produced by

Prune Nourry Studios

World Sales

Cinetic Media