7.1/10
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2 user 5 critic

Asylum (1972)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 12 March 1975 (France)
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.

Director:

Peter Robinson
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Cast

Cast overview:
R.D. Laing ... Self
Leon Redler Leon Redler ... Self
David Bell David Bell ... Self
Julia Julia ... Self
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

User Reviews

 
Interesting
11 November 2006 | by onosideboardSee 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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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 March 1975 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Asylum - R.D. Laing See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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