Full Moon Darkness

80 minutes, 1983

Inspired by psychiatrist Thomas Szasz's maverick work, "The Myth Of Mental Illness," film juxtaposes Szasz's indictment of the abusive powers of his profession with interviews with several patients who "survived" their treatment. The film, hardly a straight-forward documentary, creates a disorienting experience for the viewer by turning the camera into a nervous, and nervy, instrument of investigation and observation. Boldly zooming in to extreme close-ups of one fidgety survivor, it travels at first haltingly and then rapidly and repeatedly past another sitting on a park bench. In a third case, it focuses on the ruins of a building while we hear a woman's voice on the soundtrack. The result is disturbing as the film both challenges institutionalized psychiatry, while it also reflects the otherness of the "victim," whose inner world remains an unknowable, discomforting place.

Source: Library and Archives Canada - Canadian Feature Film Database (LAC)

Contributed Notes