DIRECTOR: FREDERICK WISEMAN
In 1970, after he had recently surveyed the inner workings of a Massachusetts mental hospital and a Philadelphia high school, Wiseman decided to train his camera on the patients and staff of the large and bustling Metropolitan Hospital in New York City. The result is a hypnotic and hugely empathetic look at individual crisis and looming bureaucracy. The amazing moments pile up: nurses caring for a neglected toddler who had fallen out a window; a long-haired Midwestern transplant having a very bad, paranoid reaction to a drug trip; a woman denied health-care coverage because of preexisting conditions, in a scene that remains sadly relevant.
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 8–14, 2016