documentary – history of the madhouse


A decidedly unglossy and well worth watching telling of the creation and demise of Asylums as it unfolded in UK. No doubt there are similarities and differences too with how this unfolded in other countries.

“In the post-war period, 150,000 people were hidden away in 120 of these vast Victorian institutions all across the country.”

Traces the building, opening and many changes, the closing and “Care In The Community” as it was called by the then Government – pitched as an act of liberating enabled by new “treatments”. Then the political backlash and establishing  the current pattern of ever more powerful use of the Law and other institutions of state to control those who have done nothing but who as one interviewee says it  “might do something”.

Includes interviews with former inmates, staff, psychiatric survivors .

Note that there at brief clips included you might find difficult to watch as the focus moves through things done in the name of “treatment” like electroshock, insulation shock and lobotomies, deep brain surgery, and people talking about harm done to them. 

Some “treat”, eh?

So make your choices.

Its a BBC Doc so watch it before some intern is ordered to pull down the links.
bbcfour-mental

“Documentary which tells the fascinating and poignant story of the closure of Britain’s mental asylums. In the post-war period, 150,000 people were hidden away in 120 of these vast Victorian institutions all across the country. Today, most mental patients, or service users as they are now called, live out in the community and the asylums have all but disappeared. Through powerful testimonies from patients, nurses and doctors, the film explores this seismic revolution and what it tells us about society’s changing attitudes to mental illness over the last sixty years.”

Producer:   Adam Jessel
Director:    Chris Boulding

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00sfpvf

 

 

 

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