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416 Ratings

'Til Madness Do Us Part

Feng ai

Directed by Wang Bing
Hong Kong, France, 2013


Within the gates of an isolated mental institution in in southwest China’s Yunnan province, patients are confined to one single floor of a building. Once locked in, with little contact from the outside world, anything goes.

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'Til Madness Do Us Part Directed by Wang Bing
What’s perhaps most shocking is not what we see but how we see it, via Wang’s bravura, long handheld takes, some of which seem like they stretch for hours … His camera places us right there, in ways few documentaries allow themselves the leisure to do. We’re so immersed that when the film leaves the institution for a time late in its third hour, the result is an unlikely epiphany that lasts for a few moments until Wang plunges us right back into the inferno.
January 16, 2017
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The mad are ignored everywhere. It is only in allowing us a tiny window into their abject suffering that these few unfortunate bastards may have our empathy for a few short hours. They are real when he films them. In this world, that has to count for something because help is never coming.
January 14, 2017
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In the case of Wang’s devastating recent film, ’Til Madness Do Us Part (13), what we feel most viscerally is the pitilessness and ruthlessness of his gaze. Set in a mental institution in a remote part of Yunnan province, where Wang was granted permission to shoot for two and a half months, this four-hour odyssey brings near-microscopic attention to a slow drip of chaos, making each shot land like a new round of punishment.
July 03, 2016
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