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.
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.
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.
A perfectly executed documentary, entirely divorced from bias on the subject, dealing with the frustrating dilemmas that exist in a 100% sympathetic, forgiving, and inconsequential environment for those who need help. You find yourself questioning the very foundation of what we believe help to be. The meeting held to reveal that the cook had passed away absolutely shook me to the core.