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Titicut Follies

USA, English, 84 mins

  • Director: Frederick Wiseman
  • Producer: David Eames; Frederick Wiseman

CGiii Comment

The only American film banned from release for reasons other than obscenity or national security.

Titicut Follies was filmed inside the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Bridgewater, a prison hospital for the criminally insane.

After the Commonwealth of Massachusetts sued the filmmakers, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the film constituted an invasion of inmate privacy and ordered the withdrawal of the film from circulation.

That's the official blurb. This was banned out of SHAME.

All those who worked in this institution should have been inmates/patients themselves - especially the interrogating doctor - seen in the first 10 minutes. Truly horrific.

This is voyeurism - Wiseman presents it as it is - no commentary, no celebrity voice-over.

Interestingly, Wiseman was a lawyer before turning his hand to filmmaking - this being his debut - and a serious debut it is.

The over-riding difficulty with this film is....this is what they were allowed to film - what were they not allowed to film? The answer is, possibly, too horrifying.

This should make you angry - very angry.

If it doesn't then you should be absolutely ashamed.


Trailer...

Three Reasons: Titicut Follies from For Criterion Consideration on Vimeo.

The(ir) Blurb...

Documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman takes us inside the Massachusetts Correctional Institution Bridgewater where people stay trapped in their madness.

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