For his enthralling first feature, Allan King took his cameras to a home for emotionally disturbed young people. The stunning Warrendale won the Prix d’art et d’essai at Cannes and a special documentary award from the National Society of Film Critics.
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The same year as Wiseman's TITICUT FOLLIES, also a cinema-verite doc filmed in a mental hospital, this one though is a "progressive" one, but the therapeutic values of hippies with bad breath sitting on a kid, holding him down and yelling at him also seems dubious to me. I don't know. It's a great film.
Allan King adelantándose a lo que sería el estilo frontal y natural de los Hermanos Maysles. "Warrendale" es un retrato sobre un reformatorio para niños con transtornos emocionales que aplica una serie de tratamientos poco conservadores, muchos de estos agresivos, aunque desde el punto de vista de sus portavoces, afectivos. Es el abrazo que aprisiona, pero en otro instante, es también maternal. Un documental puro.
It hurts so much to watch this movie, but it's definitely one of the best ever created documentaries. Such deep portrait of both most fragile and the strongest people - a truly amazing work by Allan King.
I like how Allan King showed the highs and lows of dealing with these children, the passion that the helpers must have to be able to have the strength to stand the abuse that they get at times. Also I like how it isn't based on just one side. There isn't a point of view, there isn't an idea that is thrown at you. Its just pure viewing at its purest, and really, any idea that you have is your own for this film.