As a society we are much more accepting and understanding of mental health and the illnesses that people suffer with, than even just a decade ago. Imagine just how hard it was for people back in the seventies when mental illnesses such as schizophrenia had horrendous stigmas attached and were not really understood at all. Even though we are more accepting of mental illness today, we still have a long way to go.
In 1972 a film that was dubbed as being ground breaking was released and has now been released in the UK on DVD. It was filmed over a seven week period, taking the viewers behind the closed doors of a hospital in Archway London.
R. D. Laing was instrumental in changing the way people viewed mental illness and indeed how it was treated. His extremely unique approach of giving patients a therapy that included helping them to heal through freedom and compassion. It was not just controversial, but unheard of in the early seventies, given the fact that once people were identified as having an affliction such as schizophrenia, they would be admitted to an asylum and left there, with no hope of seeing the world at large again.
Filmed as a fly on the wall documentary by Peter Robinson and his crew, Ronald David Laing gives unprecedented access to the patients and the lives they are living. The film has been met with such acclaim that now a movie is in the works, with David Tennent playing R.D. Laing, in the biopic.
The DVD also has a number of special features courtesy of OEG, which includes:
- Breathing & Running
- Psychiatry & Violence
- R.D. Laing in the USA
- Audio Commentary with Kenneth Robinson (Peter Robinson’s son)