Fit to Be Untied

Sandro Petraglia, Stefano Rulli, Silvano Agosti & Marco Bellocchio
Italy | 1975 | 135 min
Language : Italian
Subtitles : English, French

A major transgression in the representation of psychiatry, Matti da slegare films its “madmen” in the outside world, its ethics at odds with sensationalist views of the asylum apparatus. The filmmaker uses speech to reject oppression, through a long-term approach: standing against internment, for the individual and for collective intelligence.

Matti da slegare impressively incorporated the methodology of the non-fiction filmmaking avant-garde of the late 1960s – namely perfecting cinéma direct thanks to the use of new filming techniques: direct sound and cutting back on filming equipment – into the theoretical progress of modern psychiatry. The result for the four filmmakers was the mastery of an ethical documentary method which took Franco Basaglia’s democratic psychiatry experiments as its starting point. The oppression of the asylum apparatus is countered by rejecting a sensationalist vision, by filming its “madmen” in the outside world, and proving, in positive terms, how virtuous it is to take individuals and their complexity into account. The unhurried approach of words and speech allows for an intimate understanding of the film’s three characters (Angelo, Paulo and Marco) to develop, while immediately ruling out any possibility of reducing them to their symptoms. A fiercely political project. 

Pierre Guidez

Guest of Honour Marco Bellocchio

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