Kings Park: Stories from an American Mental Institution

Kings park

Documentary by Lucy Winer & Karen Eaton, 2014, USA

On the eve of her 50th birthday, filmmaker Lucy Winer returns to the state hospital where she was committed as a suicidal teenager. But what starts as Lucy’s personal journey becomes instead a firsthand account of the now-abandoned institution, told from the different perspectives of other former “patients”, staff and family members. Awarded the Grand Prize at the Mad in America International Film Festival and winner of the NYAPRS Public Education/Media Award, Kings Park: Stories from an American Mental Institution offers an intimate look at the vanishing history of public mental health care in America, culminating with the challenges we face today and an understanding of how we got here.

Emmy-nominated documentary producer Lucy Winer has been making social issue documentaries for over 30 years. Her credits include Greetings from Washington D.C., about the First National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights; Rate It X, a critically-acclaimed feature on sexism in America; Silent Pioneers, the first documentary to address the issues of lesbian and gay seniors; Positive: Life with HIV, a ground-breaking public television series; and Golden Threads, about 93-year-old lesbian activist, Christine Burton. Winer’s decision to return to Kings Park was impulsive, sparking an 11-year odyssey to make peace with her past and the institution that once confined and continued to haunt her. Begun with great trepidation, the resulting film, produced with life-partner Karen Eaton, has brought “gifts that I never could have imagined.”

Link to trailer –

Link to the movie website –