May 2, 2017
On Tuesday May 2, 2017 SAPA collaborated with The Loft Cinema in presenting Titicut Follies, directed by Frederick Wiseman in honor of National Mental Health Awareness month with a special introduction by Dr. Patricia Harrison-Monroe, Director of Community Outreach and Clinical Development and Director of the Early Psychosis Intervention Center (Epicenter) at the University of Arizona. The premise of Titicut Follies takes place at the MCI-Bridgewater mental institution, a prison hospital for individuals who were criminally insane overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Corrections. In Frederick Wiseman’s first documentary he shows the audience the abuse of the inmates by the guards. The film won critical acclaim after it’s 1967 premiere at the New York Film Festival. However, the government of Massachusetts attempted to obtain an injunction banning the release of the film and in 1969, Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Harry Kalus, ordered all copies of the film destroyed and had the film recalled from distribution. In 1991 (after 24 years of censorship in which only doctors, lawyers, judges, healthcare professionals, social workers, and students in the mental health field could view it) the film was released to the general public.