Chronicles 7-weeks in the lives of 12 emotionally disturbed children and their therapist's experimental method of treatment at the Toronto-area Warrendale facility.

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Credited cast:
Martin Fischer ...
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Chronicles 7-weeks in the lives of 12 emotionally disturbed children and their therapist's experimental method of treatment at the Toronto-area Warrendale facility.

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Adults think it's about kids. Kids know it's about adults. See more »

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Release Date:

19 October 1968 (USA)  »

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Budget:

CAD 60,000 (estimated)
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1.37 : 1
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This was the first major feature-length documentary by director Allan King. See more »

Connections

Spin-off Children in Conflict: A Talk with Irene (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not at all pleasant to watch...but very familiar to me in many ways.
19 July 2016 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Allan King somehow convinced the folks who ran the Warrendale mental health center (outside Toronto) to allow him and his crew to come there and film the staff and residents. Considering that the residents were severely emotionally disturbed children, this is a very unusual film and I was surprised they got permission! What you see is a small period of time during which you see several really messed up kids screaming, yelling, cursing and losing control--all while being kept in therapeutic holds by the long-suffering staff. What also makes the film unusual is that it has no narration and no introduction. It also wasn't edited to eliminate all the rough language (especially in the 1960s)...and as a result, the Canadian Broadcast System refused to air the documentary on television, though it was later showed in select theaters.

This isn't the sort of film that most will enjoy--that is clear. It is reasonably well made and some folks see it as a classic. As for me, my reaction is a bit different as it reminds me of my job working in a children's psychiatric facility back in the mid-1980s. While we did use therapeutic holds to restrain the children when they were violent, we did NOT stay up in the kids' faces demanding they have some emotional breakthrough. We also (wisely) segregated teen boys and girls! I can only assume that is because over time, the methods used at Warrendale were found to be less than totally effective. However there is a serious problem--no one really is clear on WHY Warrendale was closed around the same time the film was made. Also there is very contradictory information on the internet about the psychologist who ran the place---some practically see him as a saint and others as the Devil himself. If you love clarity, this is NOT a film to watch!! Worth seeing and mildly interesting...but with no follow-up you have no idea if any of this is effective or had any lasting benefit. Technically speaking, the film is reasonably well made....but it's also not particularly pleasant or most folks' idea of a fun documentary!


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