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A Wiseman for our time

Titicut Follies (1967) / Near Death (1989) / At Berkeley (2013) / Ex Libris (2017)
Regissør: Frederick Wiseman
(USA)

In February at the Cinematheques: Through 50 years, the merited director Frederick Wiseman has left the institutional community in the seams – to joy, anger and despair.

It is not often that you come out of a cinema and feel both intellectually enriched and emotionally engaged, but one of the Frederick Wiseman films shown at the cinematheques in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Tromsø 'these days has such an effect. The American filmmaker, documentary filmmaker and theater director Frederick Wiseman (b. 1930) is one of the few surviving film legends we have, and it is the first time a selection of his films has been staged in Norway.

Shock debut. Wiseman debuted as a documentary filmmaker in 1967 with Titicut Follies, a shocking portrait of a public psychiatric clinic for criminals in Massachusetts. Wiseman had spent 29 days in the hospital's closed ward and filmed patients systematically subjected to humiliation, coercion and bullying with tragic consequences, and then spent a year cutting the material. For the film, he received awards in both Italy and France before the film was recalled and censored by the US authorities. Only 24 years later, after several trials and three years after the clinic had been closed, did the film finally arrive. . .

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Margareta Hruza
Hruza is a Czech / Norwegian filmmaker and regular critic of Ny Tid.

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