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Asylum1972

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  • 3.7
In 1971, filmmaker Peter Robinson and a small crew entered a world of anarchic madness and healing compassion unlike any other. The resulting film, ASYLUM, records their seven week stay in radical psychiatrist R. D. Laing's controversial Archway Community, a London row-house where the inmates literally run the asylum. Laing's conviction that schizophrenics can only heal their shattered "self" where they’re free and yet are held responsible for their actions, challenged patients, doctors and, in ASYLUM's incredible document, the filmmakers, to live communally and peacefully.

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1 member likes this review

I work in a hospital for people with a mental illness. Everyone is given a schedule of classes to attend; they must follow many rules with punishment for breaking them. I like "Asylum" because it shows people interacting and negotiating to live in a communal space. Each is held responsible for their actions; the only "punishment" is a demand that they talk with the others, seeking a solution to the problem. When David lost control of his behavior he was treated with love and respect, but both residents and the psychiatrist insisted he change his behavior or be put out of the house, probably to the hospital. Human beings using human skills to solve problems, as is expected in all communities. The film made me sad in contrast to our lockstep, rules bound hospital, which dehumanizes and teaches people to not be responsible for their behavior.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (6)

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top reviewer

I work in a hospital for people with a mental illness. Everyone is given a schedule of classes to attend; they must follow many rules with punishment for breaking them. I like "Asylum" because it shows people interacting and negotiating to live in a communal space. Each is held responsible for their actions; the only "punishment" is a demand that they talk with the others, seeking a solution to the problem. When David lost control of his behavior he was treated with love and respect, but both residents and the psychiatrist insisted he change his behavior or be put out of the house, probably to the hospital. Human beings using human skills to solve problems, as is expected in all communities. The film made me sad in contrast to our lockstep, rules bound hospital, which dehumanizes and teaches people to not be responsible for their behavior.

1 member likes this review
0a88218a5e4e73186177009ca0c927ec?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2ffemale%2favatar f 0082
top reviewer

great filming and recordings of real folks trying to cope with themselves and each other.

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top reviewer

A disturbing look into a side of human life we rarely get to see. Dated, but interesting none the less.

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top reviewer

Could not understand the British accent, especially when it was mumbled, as it was through this entire doc. Never knew what the diagnosis was for each resident and at times I wasn't really certain which ones were therapists and which needed the therapy. One thing that was proven here is that the squeaky wheel does, indeed, get the grease. And all the attention. But I figured that out more through action than dialogue. I apologize for the use of the word action.

this is so great.

This movie was a fascinating portrayal of a world that is unknown to most people unless or until mental illness effects their lives or family members. I think the philosophy behind these group home that put patirnts as well as psychiatrists living together and helping eachother get through the often