DIRECTOR: FREDERICK WISEMAN
Frederick Wiseman burst onto the scene in 1967 with what remains his most controversial film, a detached yet rigorous examination of the conditions at a mental health facility. Set in Massachusetts’ Bridgewater State Hospital for the criminally insane, the film peers relentlessly at the routine humiliations enacted by the guards upon the inmates, which range from forced nudity, bullying, and tube feeding—not to mention a bizarre talent show that inspired the film’s title. Filled with unforgettable images and powerful, pointed editing, Titicut Follies is not only an artistic triumph—it exacted real social change.
Preserved by the Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center from original camera negatives in the Zipporah Films Collection. Photos courtesy Zipporah Films. Photo courtesy Zipporah Films.
Screened April 1–7, 2016