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Captivating, well-balanced, informative, cautionary
The Lobotomist is a story of the talented psychosurgeon Walter Freeman and his unfortunate patients. Freeman devoted his life to the promotion of the lobotomy - the operation technique notoriously praised by the Nobel Committee and later cursed by both medical profession and the victims' relatives.
This movie presents a balanced story, telling first of the dire circumstances of the health system that prompted psychiatrists to seek drastic measures. This was the time before the advent of anti-psychotics, with overcrowded, prison-like mental hospitals, and lobotomy was looked at as a risky but plausible chance to eradicate the nastiest symptoms. Freeman gained some fame and strove to extent the scope of operations.
But even after the pharmaceutical treatments were found, Freeman carried on with his barbaric procedure, with many patients deteriorating far beyond their initial state and many operated on without any proper reason. Why wasn't he stopped? The reasons are presented in the movie, making it a caution for all of us.
Unique historical footage and interviews of former patients, their relatives and people who knew Freeman and worked with him, all mixed with interesting facts, make for an excellent documentary.
12 Angry Men (1957)
Captivates even after half a century
Crime and hatred are like continental boundaries, always hot and ever rocking the earth beneath our feet. We often lose moral balance and clutch to a stereotype just to keep our ground. But a single person's calm perspective and will for justice now and then help us to rise above our own prejudice. This movie is a bridge across an eternal boundary; has flaws, no doubt, like any bridge, but stands magnificently for 50 years and brings together people of all kinds. This bridge offers a view on the problems of society and a place for discussion.
This movie deserves its place among the greatest.