Contrary to reason: Documentary film-making and alternative psychotherapies

A new open-access piece in History of the Human Sciences may interest AHP readers: “Contrary to reason: Documentary film-making and alternative psychotherapies,” Des O’Rawe. Abstract:

This article explores how post-war documentary film-makers negotiated complex social, formal, and autobiographical issues associated with representing mental illness and its treatments, and the extent to which their respective approaches helped to challenge conventional attitudes to alternative psychotherapies – especially within the context of advances in new documentary film-making technologies, alongside a wider culture of social activism. Focussing on A Look at Madness (Regard sur la folie; Mario Ruspoli, 1962, France) and Now Do You Get It Why I Am Crying? (Begrijpt u nu waarom ik huil?; Louis van Gasteren, 1969, Netherlands), the article discusses how the collaborative, democratic aims of cinéma direct coincided with the ethos of institutional psychotherapy, and compares this with the relations between the documentary form and the subject of LSD-assisted psychotherapeutic techniques in Van Gasteren’s film.

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.