Craziness: The making of …

Craziness The Making of...  foto

A film montage by Eugene Epstein, Manfred Wiesner and Lothar Duda

For over 150 years, psychiatrists and psychotherapists have been telling us why people go crazy and what to do about it. But are their stories perhaps part of the problem? What are the central elements of the professional stories told about craziness?

With the development of cultural tools like film and video, we can not only preserve and reproduce our cultural realities, but also recursively, influence and change our current ideas about craziness and normality themselves. Not only do professionals contribute to these discourses, the mass media have a huge influence around how we define these matters.

But, what has been left out of such professional and mass media stories? Whose stories get told, and whose stories get ignored? What other non-therapeutic or post-therapeutic stories could we imagine being told?

This film montage deconstructs the many ways in which “craziness” has been portrayed historically, as well as inviting viewers to envision alternatives.

 

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From the left: Eugene Epstein, PhD, MSW, 
Lothar Duda, Dipl.-Psych.,
Manfred Wiesner, Dipl.-Psych.

Eugene, Manfred and Lothar share much in common: All three are psychologists and practicing psychotherapists in Germany, with much experience as trainers, supervisors and practitioners; they share a critical stance toward mainstream psychiatry, the pharma-medical- industrial complex, as well as the ever-expanding therapeutic state. They understand the term “therapeutic state” to mean the widespread and continually increasing use of therapeutic language and vocabularies to describe any and all aspects of our normal lives, or in other words, the pathologizing of everyday life. They have been colleagues and friends for many years and share a strong affinity towards social constructionist theory along with a love of film. They view psychiatric diagnoses as rather unaesthetic and unhelpful vocabularies of infirmity, psychotropic medications and forced treatment as unnecessary excesses of a society that places little value upon relationship. Using film material from a variety of sources, they invite the viewer to engage in new thinking about possible post-therapeutic futures.