Titicut Follies 84 min.

Frederick Wiseman, USA, 1967, black and white, 16mm
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.

IDFAcademy Summer School 2016 April 12, 2016 | The IDFAcademy Summer School has announced the sixteen selected projects for the 2016 edition of the week-long training program, held July 4-9.
IDFA Bertha Fund announces February 2016 selection April 5, 2016 | Eleven documentary projects from countries including Colombia, Kenya, Georgia and Iran will be supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund through its classic scheme. Another nine projects have been selected in the new IBF Europe category.
IDFA-Mediafonds Workshop announces 2016 tutors April 5, 2016 | The IDFA-Mediafonds Workshop 2016 will be tutored by filmmakers Petra Lataster-Czisch and Catherine van Campen. The deadline for entry is April 8.

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