Cinema’s Legacy

TITICUT FOLLIES

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  • Although TITICUT FOLLIES premiered at the New York Film Festival in 1967, it was banned for general audiences for 23 years. Frederick Wiseman’s debut documentary is a searing institutional critique of Bridgewater State Hospital — a facility for the “criminally insane” — that was deemed too embarrassing by (and to) state officials in Massachusetts. Because of the depictions of abuse and neglect in the film, the attorney general and Bridgewater’s superintendent sued Wiseman for violating the inmates’ privacy, the first time a right to privacy was ever acknowledged in Massachusetts. As a result, the State Supreme Court only authorized TITICUT FOLLIES to be screened for members of the medical community and not the “merely curious general public.” – Gillian Horvat

  • Frederick Wiseman is a prolific and award-winning documentarian, best known for in-depth observational documentaries on a range of social institutions. His credits include TITICUT FOLLIES, HIGH SCHOOL (1969), WELFARE (1975), LA DANSE (AFI FEST 2009), CRAZY HORSE (2011), AT BERKELEY (2013), NATIONAL GALLERY (2014), IN JACKSON HEIGHTS (2015) and EX LIBRIS (2017).

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