Titicut Follies: 50th Anniversary Screening
Impact | Vancity Theatre Screening
One of those rare landmark films that don’t simply stand tall in the history of cinema, but can stake a legitimate claim to having changed society at large, Titicut Follies was the debut feature from a Massachusetts lawyer by the name of Frederick Wiseman.
Wiseman, who would soon be recognized as one of the preeminent non-fiction filmmakers in the world, secured permission to shoot in the Bridgewater State Hospital for the criminally insane. What he recorded there was so shocking, the State of Massachusetts worked to ban the film for many years, though even this repression could not forestall the urgent wave of reforms which the movie inspired. The abuse and degradation the inmates routinely endured was just too blatant to be denied: humiliation, force feeding, strip searches… (Watching the film today, of course, it’s hard not to think of Abu Ghraib.)
“Titicut Follies is a great work, a near-masterpiece not just of the documentary form, but of moviemaking in any category. It’s a film that transcends the time and place of its manufacture, and it should be seen not just by documentarians and film students, but by anyone interested in the movies as a medium capable of powerfully presenting the human condition.” Ray Greene, Village View
“Alarming and unforgettable.” Time Out
“A principled and gravely disturbing look into the void… Now, 50 years later, the film can be seen for what it was: a work of political art and moral courage.” Manohla Dargis, New York Times
TITICUT FOLLIES will be introduced by Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor within the Department of Psychiatry, UBC. Dr Karlinsky obtained his specialty degree in Psychiatry from the University of Toronto and his Masters in Neuroscience degree from the University of London, England. Dr Karlinsky has a long history of involvement with various professional and public education initiatives, including his role as the founding and ongoing Director of the Frames of Mind Mental Health Film Series.