For the season’s final monthly screening, the RIDM presents Titicut Follies by Frederick Wiseman, on Thursday, May 25 at 8 p.m. at Cinéma du Parc. The RIDM+ series is presented by Télé-Québec.
Restored under Frederick Wiseman’s supervision to mark the film’s 50th anniversary, Titicut Follies not only launched the career of the acclaimed director – who received an Oscar for lifetime achievement in 2017 – it remains one of the most important documentaries of the 20th century.
Filmed over the course of one month in the Bridgewater State Hospital, a high-security facility for the criminally insane, the film announced the arrival of the “Wiseman technique,” a filmmaking approach based on observation without interviews, combined with powerful editing. Thanks to its unflinching look at the physical and psychological violence to which the hospital’s inmates were subjected, it is also one of Wiseman’s most overtly angry films. By revealing how the institution treated the vulnerable men in its care, Wiseman made an unforgettable exposé of the dark side of the United States. In the process, he exposed a power structure responsible for barbarity in stark contrast to the country’s putative humanist foundations. This shocking film remains an archetypal piece of political cinema, as relevant as it was 50 years ago.
Thursday, May 25, 8 p.m., Cinéma du Parc