A documentary crew lives with the schizophrenic residents of a group home based upon radical psychiatrist R. D. Laing's controversial approach to healing through compassion and freedom.

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Cast

Cast overview:
R.D. Laing ...
Himself
Leon Redler ...
Himself
David Bell ...
Himself
Julia ...
Herself
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A documentary crew lives with the schizophrenic residents of a group home based upon radical psychiatrist R. D. Laing's controversial approach to healing through compassion and freedom.

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The feature documentary, filmed inside the London haven of psychiatrist R.D. Laing. See more »

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Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

12 March 1975 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Asylum - R.D. Laing  »

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1.33 : 1
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Interesting
11 November 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Interesting documentary observing the lives of mentally ill patients and their therapists living together in a house.

The filmmakers mostly watch--there are not a lot of interviews or exposition here. It leaves a lot for the viewer to figure out: who is "crazy" and who is "sane?" I'm not familiar with this theory of treating mental illness, but apparently it has something to do with letting mentally ill people live together without taking medication and just be themselves. It results in a very chaotic hour and a half of people screaming, incessantly talking nonsense, and smoking.

What's really amazing is the patience and dedication of the therapists who live with them. The therapists don't really intervene in the actions of the mentally ill, and it doesn't seem like there is any structured therapy sessions going on, but they are there anyway. One of the most interesting comments, in my opinion, was when a therapist was asked about a patient who talks nonsense incessantly. The therapist replied that he stayed in the room, with the patient, because of the potential that something, some time, might make sense.

I wouldn't say this is the most insightful documentary on mental illness I've ever seen, but it pulls you in to the extent that you just can't stop watching. The interaction between mentally ill people who clearly have different problems is bizarre. In my completely uninformed opinion, this whole idea of treating mental illness by allowing it to flourish without any sort of boundaries is ridiculous, but it's an interesting experiment to observe.


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