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.

Wanted: Youth Jury! September 30, 2014 | Every year, a selection of films from the IDFA program compete for the IDFA DOC U Award, given out by a youth jury. Do you want to have a say about the winner, and are you between 15 and 18 years old? Then apply now!
IDFA 2014 presents theme program Of Media and Men September 23, 2014 | A theme program investigating the mediated interaction between the people and their governments will be presented at IDFA 2014. Of Media and Men encompasses a film program, several new media projects in IDFA DocLab and a Paradocs program curated by visual artist Aernout Mik.
In Memory of George Sluizer September 22, 2014 | With great sadness IDFA has learned of the death of Dutch cineast George Sluizer at the age of 82. Sluizer was a prominent voice in Dutch and international film culture, working both in documentary and in fiction.
IDFA relocates festival heart to Amstel September 16, 2014 | This year’s IDFA will for the first time be focused around the Amstel river. The main festival locations Pathé Tuschinski, Pathé de Munt, EYE and De Brakke Grond remain, but the festival buzz will move to Café de Jaren and Café Swych on Amsterdam’s Nieuwe Doelenstraat.
IDFA Bertha Fund introduces European program September 1, 2014 | The IDFA Bertha Fund is launching a new program: IDFA Bertha Fund – Europe. The new program will support the production and distribution of documentaries realized through co-productions between European producers and producers from developing countries.

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