1967. USA. Frederick Wiseman. 84 min.
Thursday, January 21, 2010, 4:00 p.m.
Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1
1967. USA. Directed by Frederick Wiseman. Wiseman’s debut film, a landmark of nonfiction cinema, is as grotesque a vision of human cruelty and suffering, of naked fear and loneliness, as art has ever produced. Recalling the infernal torments of Goya’s Black Paintings, Titicut Follies exposes the horrifying conditions at a state prison hospital for the criminally insane in Bridgewater, Massachusetts—conditions that seem to have changed little, even decades later, in similar institutions across the country—and it is still the only film ever to have been censored by a U.S. court for reasons other than national security or obscenity. Wiseman compels us through various alienation effects to recognize our own neglectful complicity as we regard the pain of others. 84 min.