Titicut Follies

Frederick Wiseman, USA, 1967, black and white, 16mm, 84'
Synopsis

Frederick Wiseman made his first documentary, Titicut Follies, in 1967. He locked himself up in the Bridgewater State Hospital in Massachusetts, a psychiatric clinic for convicted criminals. Wiseman had the full cooperation of the authorities, but once they had seen the film, they were furious and turned against him. Controversies concerning the violation of the detainees' privacy led to numerous lawsuits, and Titicut Follies only gets screened occasionally as a result. The documentary is a shocking portrayal of the treatment of the psychiatric patients, not only by hospital staff, but by society in general. It also serves as a blueprint for Wiseman's later work, in which he has repeatedly taken an American institution -- the high school, a military training center -- and held it up to the light. Wiseman films the humiliating, repressive practices without comment or talking heads, in a fashion that has become his trademark. The images speak for themselves. A prisoner who tries to convince his doctor that his treatment is all wrong does not end up with less antidepressants, but more. In this hospital, there is no attempt to make people better -- instead, it is all about power.

Call for Entry: IDFA Bertha Fund Classic April 14, 2015 | The IDFA Bertha Fund has announced the second selection round in 2015 for IBF Classic. The deadline for application is May 15.
IBF announces February selection April 7, 2015 | The IDFA Bertha Fund has concluded its February 2015 selection round. Eleven documentary projects will be supported through the Fund's classic scheme, while another six projects have been selected for the new category IBF Europe.
IDFA DocLab's Caspar Sonnen receives EDN Award 2015 March 23, 2015 | Last Friday, the 11th EDN Award was presented to IDFA's own Caspar Sonnen, for "his pioneering commitment to interactive documentary work".
Film entry is open March 3, 2015 | With great pleasure IDFA announces that Film Entry for the 2015 festival is now open! Again, more than 250 documentaries will be selected, running the gamut from international audience favorites to artistic experiments along the fringes of the genre. Deadlines are May 1 and August 1.

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