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Dialogues with Madwomen (1994)

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Title: Dialogues with Madwomen (1994)

Dialogues with Madwomen (1994) on IMDb 7.9/10

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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independent film | See All (1) »





Release Date:

10 September 1994 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Gespr├Ąche mit verr├╝ckten Frauen  »

Box Office


$77,789 (USA)

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User Reviews

Great Film!!!!
18 November 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In the Dialogues with Madwomen it demonstrates intense real life experiences of women who have mental illness. Madwoman shows the raw experiences of women who have been through hardships at such a young age. Filmmaker Allie Light, a madwoman herself recreates her past and of the seven mentally ill women, so the audience can feel, envision the pain, abuse, and sorrow that they went through. Madwomen is a strong heartbreaking, strengthen, documentary of women who are angry, trying to come into terms of their past and bring attention to what had happen to them to people viewing the film. The Dialogues with Madwomen shows the life of seven mentally ill women Susan Pedrick, Mairi McFall, Allie Light, Karen Wong, Hannah Ziegellaub, Deedee Bloom and R.B whom seem to live a "normal" life. However, their stories show a different side than a normal life, going through physical abused, verbally abused, neglected, and incest inside a family home and some of their clinicians. Many of abuse started in their childhood, which made them, rebel or develops ways to forget the hell they were living. Susan grew up in a low-income home her brother and sister would take care of her. Her mother was put into a mental health institute, later released, and married an alcoholic. Her stepfather physical abused, had sexual relationship with her at a young age. Even though her biological father went to save her and her sibling it was to late. She started having sex with multiply people, started using drugs; her innocence was robbed from her. Mairi developed ways to forget the abuse, and lack of privacy in her home made her create twenty-five multiply personalities so that she cannot feel the pain from the abuse. Allie did not fine interest in her life, which made her check herself into a ward. She recalls her moments with her doctor "One weekend he told me I could go home if I promised to bake a turkey. The next weekend I could go home if I promised to mop all the floors" this however did not treat her depression but made her aware of that she did not have to live the domestic life of a housewife. Karen Wong a Chinese-American who endured racism and felt separate from the world, she was later rapped and murdered on February 26, 1991. Hannah had an obsessive love with Bob Dylan and diagnose with bipolar disorder. R.B daughter of the sound of music attended Stanford Law School took a leave of absence and was raped, she stated that she had left her body after the rape. These are one of the many stories of women who emerge from themes of abuse who are silence are speaking up against society.

The perceive status of women makes women vulnerable and the negative impact that affects women puts them in a unique risk. This makes them questions ones own sense of reality. One of the strength in the film was the recreation of the seven madwomen childhood and present day worked in order for the viewers to witness such horrific lives these seven women endured. Many of there past were in some ways identical but some had different coping mechanism or they were misdiagnose. The consumption of drugs, developing multiply personalities, depression, and schizophrenia. The mental institutions instead of helping them they were rejected confused, taking advantage of. These women stated that they were physical abused many started from childhood but where told it was just a fantasy. They received bad experience from psychiatrist, doctors, and prescription drugs. I feel that wards misdiagnose disorders, insane, and sane. The documentary gives a raw look of how these women were treated at the mental institutions but did not provide a share as much information that went on. These madwomen did not receive the care and caused them not have a sense of self. The film shows creativity when recall the madwomen past and present day. The film did share information about their past but not as much information in their present life's. Another weakness in the film was some of the stories did not form clarity and I need to re-read my notes and connect the dot to understand more.

Even though the documentary shows the crimes committed against women the one main positive thing from the documentary is that they are showing strength and realization that they can get better. I believe mental illness in women is something that has been covered and not talked about. This documentary shows an intense experience that needs to be spoken about and know about. The film is a must watch to understand and learn it might influence the audience to learn more about women who are mentally ill.

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