Thursday, January 17, 2008

Let There Be Light

Tulkoon valkeus. US 1946. (c) 1948. PC: U.S. Army Pictorial Services. D+ED: John Huston. [SC: John Huston, Charles Kaufman n.c.] [M: Dimitri Tiomkin n.c.][DP: Stanley Cortez, John Doran, Lloyd Fromm, Joseph Jackman, George Smith n.c. - 35mm][Narrator: Walter Huston n.c.] LOC: Edgewood State Hospital, Commack, Long Island, New York. 59 min. 16mm print from Imperial War Museum. Viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 17 Jan 2008. A documentary on neuropsychiatric war invalids. 20% of the invalids were neuropsychiatric. This film focuses on neuroses: aphasia, amnesia, conversion hysteria, etc. (Psychoses, schizophrenia, catatonia, and shock therapy are not included.) Treatments include hypnosis, narcosynthesis ("a shortcut into the unconscious"), occupational therapy, music therapy, arts, religion, and sports. "Every man has his breaking point", the narrator states. These men have suffered experiences beyond human endurance. They are casualties of the spirit. The film is so optimistic, it's strange it was shelved well into the 1980s.

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