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Titicut Follies
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Titicut Follies

1967
Documentary
1h 24m
Highly controversial documentary chronicaling life inside a Massachusetts institution for mentally ill convicts... (imdb)
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Titicut Follies

1967
Documentary
1h 24m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 70.64% from 394 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(393)
Compact view
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Rated 18 Oct 2008
96
99th
This is much more chilling than I imagined it would be. There may not be outright brutality but the disgusting psychological treatment and living conditions of the patients are going to linger in my mind for a long time. There are some light moments but everything about the film from its contents to its very existence and the attempts to ban it is a constant reminder of how terrible things were and how far we've come as a society.
Rated 23 Jun 2007
3
28th
Never have I seen so much penis! :-O
Rated 26 Oct 2013
76
87th
Effective exposé of institutionalisation (even today there is little public awareness of the day-to-day realities of such places). It remains the case that one of the great flaws of representative democracy is that there are no votes in mental health. Look for the fallout shelter sign.
Rated 06 Aug 2014
84
86th
A study in dehumanization. Wiseman's interested in the inmates, but it's the personnel of the hospital that are the real characters, who are perhaps practicing their own form of insanity.
Rated 21 May 2020
4
70th
It's quite draining to watch the casual indifference with which human beings are warehoused and shuffled to and fro here, made only more horrifying by the good faith in which some of the staff seem to be operating.
Rated 12 Jun 2012
71
59th
Often uncomfortable to see, though not always interesting.
Rated 27 Sep 2007
65
29th
I always remember the thing about the psych guy asking the inmate how often he masturbates--and then critiquing his response. Sums up the whole business for me.
Rated 10 May 2019
7
61st
"Chinatown my Chinatown" is quite an unforgettable moment, and the best moments here are the musical ones. For some reason I kept imagining a Herzog like narration asking how does society pick who is insane and who is not.
Rated 12 Apr 2012
69
57th
That force feeding scene is horrible. So unhumane, especially how that man smokes his cigarette while forcing that tube down the other man's nose..
Rated 09 Aug 2009
75
67th
Not quite as rough a ride as I was expecting, but the images will certainly stay with you for a while. Wiseman's camera is as passionless an observer as you'll find, which is necessary to keep this from boiling over into either needless hand-wringing or outright exploitation.
Rated 19 Mar 2008
75
68th
Very depressing. VERY unsettling. Cinéma vérité at its vérité-est.
Rated 12 Mar 2022
87
93rd
03.18 Kurtköy
Rated 19 Feb 2024
55
31st
Some scenes were touching, some tragically deflating. I suppose it's the anger and disgust with which I regarded the wardens and doctors that made this a less than enjoyable watch. I wonder what the administration were thinking allowing Wiseman in to shoot this? No shame.
Rated 14 Feb 2021
79
74th
Most documentaries are a slog and useless. Look into how they tried to shut this doc down to realize the power cinema can and does have.
Rated 06 Jan 2021
95
97th
It feels important to mention I’ve worked with folks with developmental disabilities (as is the current PC-wording) for 6 years and this film has long been on my radar. Apart from the content itself, the form presenting it is what I’d consider to be ideal cinema. Much has been said about Wiseman’s aesthetic - there’s a timelessly raw power to the coldly captured images intercut. More complex and affecting than any other communication. Also - love the unsubtle middle finger in the end cre
Rated 03 May 2020
75
82nd
This is where it all begins for Wiseman, and his distinctive style and approach to film making is evident even at this early stage. His 'bullshit meter', as he likes to call it, is evidently in action and like the films to come, he judges no one that appears in the film as (inherently) good or bad. Unlike most of his later filmography, as viewers we are drawn to particular individuals as characters, but ultimately left to feel that this prison/hospital is a broken institution.
Rated 08 Aug 2018
72
67th
I totally subscribe to Wiseman's point of view, but I felt like the documentary didn't make such a good case. Because of the absence of narration, we're just fed snapshots of the inmates' life without any context. Sure, the force-feeding scene is horrendous and it should never happen, sure the paranoid schizophrenic seems fairly rational, but there may be reasons for them to be there. Or not. And this uncertainty is a weakness of the documentary to me. The post-credits addendum is brilliant.
Rated 19 Nov 2022
84
82nd
Very good documentary about an insane asylum in Massachusetts in 1966. It was the impetus of change in conditions in asylums like this. It made me wonder what conditions were REALLY like when a documentary wasn't being made, because some of the bullying the guards and others are willing to do with the camera on them are pretty shocking. I think it stays on the right side of exploitative, especially with its clear goal to change the conditions. Would make a good double bill with Shock Corridor.
Rated 15 Dec 2006
76
58th
Unsettling stuff. Unfortunately several factors make it tough to understand what's being said a lot of the time.
Rated 03 Sep 2017
91
96th
It lays out its visual and narrative terms immediately, and is riveting from the first frame to the last. In this realm, the inmates do not seem appreciably more "crazy" than their keepers.
Rated 26 Nov 2013
91
91st
The neutrality and objectivity of the camera and its movements reinforces the despair on the viewer. I think it was what Wiseman had in mind.
Rated 01 Dec 2011
67
34th
#668
Rated 16 Nov 2010
80
91st
It's amazing how Frederick Wiseman debuts his auteurish documentary style already fully formed and mature. Titicut Follies offers an immensely valuable look at the way western institutions treat those defined as criminally insane. It's the "fly-on-the-wall" kind of documentary that would define Wiseman's highly influential bent, but as he always stressed, even a non-narrated documentary cannot avoid making commentary through its choice of what to film and how to edit it together.
Rated 10 Dec 2014
8
97th
mental illness, institutionalisation, and perhaps even repressed homosexuality. the most thoroughly depressing thing i've seen in a while. there is a sense that even though the many problems on display here could be (and have been) easily improved, they cannot be solved entirely unless we reject incarceration altogether. also, the logic of the supposed paranoid schizophrenic was clearly far superior to the disgusting circularity of his 'administrators'.
Rated 06 May 2010
75
75th
watching the force feeding was particularly grueling
Rated 22 Oct 2015
100
0th
"If you're just part of this larger community that we call a nation you can reap the benefits." http://illusionpodcast.blogspot.com/2014/07/episode-21-first-films-of-frederick.html
Rated 23 Mar 2014
70
36th
The kind of stuff people like to pretend doesn't happen in the USA.
Rated 02 Mar 2008
57
31st
# 856

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