Analysis Of The Film Madness: A History

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Madness: A History, a film by the Films Media Group, is the final installment of a five part series, Kill or Cure: A History of Medical Treatment. It presents a history of the medical science community and it’s relationship with those who suffer from mental illness. The program uses original manuscripts, photos, testimonials, and video footage from medical archives, detailing the historical progression of doctors and scientists’ understanding and treatment of mental illness. The film compares and contrasts the techniques utilized today, with the methods of the past. The film offers an often grim and disturbing recounting of the road we’ve taken from madness to illness.

Historically the course of medicine provided treatments that could …show more content…

The film gives a historical overview of how the mentally ill have been treated throughout history and chronicles the advancements and missteps the medical community has made along the way. Whittaker recounts the history of psychiatric treatment in America until 1950, he then moves on to describe the use of antipsychotic drugs to treat schizophrenia. He critically summarizes that it is doctors, rather than the patients, who have always calculated the evaluation of the merits of medical treatment, as the “mad” continue to be dismissed as unreliable witnesses. When in fact it is the patient being treated, and their subjective experience, that should be foremost in the evaluation. The film backs up this analysis with interviews of people, living viable lives in the town of Geel, Belgium. I would recommend this film to anyone interested in the history of medicine and specifically to those examining mental illness. It provides a balanced recounting of historical approaches to mental illness, along with success stories of the people of Geel, Belgium. And although I had to look away during the viewing of a lobotomy procedure, I give credit to the power of the visual impact the footage

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