Titicut Follies

    • Frederick Wiseman
    • United States
    • 1967
    • 84 min
    • Top 10

    For his first documentary, Frederick Wiseman locked himself up in the Bridgewater State Hospital in Massachusetts, a psychiatric clinic for convicted criminals. Although he had the full cooperation of the authorities before and during the shoot, they turned against him once they had seen the film. 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 institution 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. 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’s all about power.

    Credits

    • 84 min
    • black and white
    • DCP
    • Spoken languages: English
    Director
    Frederick Wiseman
    Production
    Frederick Wiseman for Zipporah Films
    Cinematography
    John Marshall
    Editing
    Frederick Wiseman
    Sound
    Frederick Wiseman

    IDFA history

    2022
    Screened
    Top 10
    2009
    Screened
    Retrospective: Frederick Wiseman
    1995
    Screened
    Top 10
    1991
    Screened

    Share this film

    Print this page

    IDFA history

    This website uses cookies.

    By using cookies we can measure how our site is used, how it can be further improved and to personalize the content of online advertisements.

    Read
     here everything about our cookie policy. If you choose to decline, we only place functional and analytical cookies