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.

IDFA Awards given out in Durban, Montevideo and Sarajevo August 27, 2015 | Three IDFA Awards were handed out over the summer to promising projects pitched at three international film markets. As part of the awards, all winners will attend IDFA in November.
IDFAcademy Summer School report July 8, 2015 | Emerging filmmakers from all over the world came together for an uncharacteristically hot week in Amsterdam to work on their documentary projects with renowned tutors such as Victor Kossakovsky and Cecilia Lidin.
IBF announces May selection July 7, 2015 | The IDFA Bertha Fund has concluded the second selection round for 2015. Eleven documentary projects from countries like Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, South Sudan, Uruguay and Georgia will be supported by the fund in its classic scheme.
New Media at IDFA 2015 July 7, 2015 | For those interested in the creative potential of digital technology, virtual reality and interactive media, this year's IDFA will have more to offer than ever before.
Errol Morris central guest at IDFA 2015 June 30, 2015 | Renowned filmmaker Errol Morris will compile this year's Top 10 program at IDFA. The festival will also be screening a retrospective of Morris's work.

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