British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Asylum

Synopsis
In 1971, a group of filmmakers was granted the opportunity to film for several weeks at a home for "mentally troubled" individuals in London, UK. The Archway Community was based in large part on the theories of the late radical psychiatrist R.D. Laing, including his belief that the hierarchical structure of the usual doctor-patient relationship could be broken down by communal living - an effort to break the cycle of people being fruitlessly shuttled between mental hospitals and their often dysfunctional homes. The film participates in this ethos, simply observing the housemates as they interact with each other, often in fascinating digressions that illustrate Laing’s thesis at the time that "madness", while painful, could sometimes have creative and socially positive outcomes. As Dr. Donald Moss of the NYU Psychoanalytic Institute states, "R.D. Laing disrupted the paradigm of analyst as subject and patient as object that had shaped clinical theory from Freud on. Laing insisted on a practice based on identification, not on objectification. The authority of one’s interpretation was to be grounded in either a momentary or prolonged participation in the other’s ‘condition’." Extras Include: Breathing & Running (16 min, 1971) Laing speaks in his home about his ideas. Psychiatry & Violence (24 min, 1971) - Laing speaks in his home about his ideas. R.D. Laing in the USA (23 min, 1972) Audio Commentary".
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Year of release
2015
Year of production
1972
Subjects
Psychiatry; Mental Health and Counselling
Keywords
Laing, R D; psychiatric patients; psychiatry; schizophrenia

Credits

Director
Peter Robinson
Cinematographer
Richard W. Adams
Contributor
R D Laing

Distribution Formats

Type
DVD
Format
Region 2 PAL
Price
£10.25
Availability
Sale
Duration/Size
95 minutes
Year
2015

Production Company

Name

Peter Robinson Associates

Online Retailer

Name

amazon.co.uk

Web
http://www.amazon.co.uk External site opens in new window

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