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Feng ai (2013)

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50 men live for 12 months in a madhouse, they passing their days in a single plane and having little contact with the medical team. Every one of the inmates is not there for mental health ... See full summary »

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50 men live for 12 months in a madhouse, they passing their days in a single plane and having little contact with the medical team. Every one of the inmates is not there for mental health problems but for had killing someone for committing a crime against public officials. Written by Christian Urso

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9 June 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

'Til Madness Do Us Part  »

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Searingly human
4 October 2016 | by See all my reviews

Documentarist Wang Bing filmed life in a psychiatric hospital in SW China over the course of a year. It's much more like a prison. Some of the men are mentally ill; others have been confined there because they've committed criminal acts, or are disabled, or practice religion with zeal, or otherwise don't fit into family or society. The hospital, its crowded rooms around a courtyard corridor, is unutterably filthy and mostly unattended by any staff. This is real-life theater of the absurd. Watching it demands patience (almost 4 hours), which is richly rewarded as your normal senses of time and self ebb away. The camera leaves this floor only twice (there's one brief trip down a flight, and one key sequence where an inmate gets a few days' leave with his parents in a desolate village), and it cuts very rarely: there's as little as possible to obstruct your sense of being confined in this space of radical misery. Glimpses of kindness and human dignity among the inmates shine through all the more poignantly: a spark of love, a bit of fresh food from outside. Through this one corridor, "Madness" indicts the abuses of the bureaucratic Chinese state--but/and its biggest power lies in its cinematic originality.


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