Realismo puro y duro. A lo largo de sus casi cuatro horas de duración vas dándote cuenta de algo que acaba confirmando el director en tres pequeños textos finales: que más que un psiquiátrico se trata de una carcel donde van a parar todo tipo de "trastornados", sin que nadie se libre de poder entrar en esa categoría.
After 10 weeks and 300 hours of film in this madhouse, Wang Bing came with this great documentary. As usual, not spectacular, but confident that everyday observations and length will make justice to what he saw. The result is astonishing. Madness is there alright but nothing to be compared to Depardon´s "San Clemente". Here most of those poor men dared to oppose the chinese government. Looks a lot like hell on earth.
Ok yes it's undeniably a 5/5 film. There have been zillions of worthy and godawfully righteous docos this century so far. Vegan spumefests and weird askew milennial rantisms with good miniature camera technology that no one should have to abide while Herzog is still alive. So this film is great and a privilege, but no sex, drugs or violence? At all? In 3 months? No dirty protest?Maybe a 5th hour was warranted here.
This is way too long. After half an hour you get the idea that the patients of this mental hospital are rotting their lives away doing nothing. It's an important message, but the filmmaker could've done with much shorter shots to keep the film more compact instead of the 4 hours it is taking now. Only at the end the film gets a direction as we see patients talking with their loved ones about their lives. Too late...
The sheer filthiness of the "hospital" and the lack of empathy from the doctors towards the patients is heartbreaking. Uncompromising, the way that the camera is a silent observer of the human condition in most awful of places gives me the chills. This is what documentarists are for.
Asked by Charlie Rose on the influence of Philladelphia in his imaginery, David Lynch said it was "the wide range of human behavior" he observed there. Here is a huge range of such behavior sistematically obscured by modern society estructure. As sophisticated and fancy as it can be, this is exactly the way such society proceeds with the individuals. Just like that. Denial as the source of illness.
Being almost 4 hours long I thought the length of it would be unnecessary and due to lack of editing, but the little time spent with these characters offers a small but essential glimpse into their lives. The filmmaker appears to be invisible, giving us a bare-bone account of everyday life in a mental asylum. Traumatising, heart-warming and expertly filmed.
Filmowi brakuje przede wszystkim przedstawienia historii nagrywanych pacjentów, całość lekko przydługa. Dokument pokazuje jednak brak zaradności państwa w stosunku do osób niestabilnych psychicznie, smutny obraz błąkających się ludzi, którym poza salą telewizyjną nie jest serwowana żadna alternatywa spędzania "wolnego" czasu.Porzucani sami sobie tylko pielęgnują swój stan chorobowy.