Guilty Except for Insanity - Maddening Journeys Through an American Asylum

"Unfolds as a profound critique of institutional care tragically overtaken by the criminal justice system."

 

— Lynne Layton, Ph.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School

Reviewers

"Through this unique documentary, Haaken brings an astute and empathic clinical eye to the lives of psychiatrically hospitalized patients. The film unfolds as a profound critique of institutional care tragically overtaken by the criminal justice system."

— Lynne Layton, Ph.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School

Rich in nuanced attention to the complexities of the interlocking systems of mental health and criminal justice (what Michel Foucault would call systems of biopolitical control), Guilty Except for Insanity attends to the human stories of those seeking care in this maddening labyrinth. The film offers an excellent starting point for discussions of community health services, social action research, and the responsibilities of filmmakers to those they profile.

— Frann Michel, Professor of English, Willamette University

Guilty Except for Insanity is a remarkable and inspiring film. It brings us in touch with the lived experience of five people who share their stories in ways that move us and make us think in more deeply engaged ways. The film also is transformative in motivating us to act, speak out, and mobilise for change.

— Maggie O’Neill, Professor of Criminology, Durham University, England

Guilty Except for Insanity provides a masterful starting point to launch a dialogue with staff and students about mental illness awareness. It is brilliant in its accessible storytelling, drawing the viewer in to explore the patient's journey at the most severe end of the mental health continuum. The visual aesthetics of this documentary, inside the storied One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest asylum, illuminates the social responsibility we all share to proactively assist those suffering mental health crises.

— Wendy Polhemus, Interim Director, Erb Memorial Union, University of Oregon