The Deviant Majority
fil still, "The Deviant Majority" by Dora Garcia, 2010
In "The Deviant Majority (from Basaglia to Brazil" García addresses revolutionary reforms in psychiatry that grew out of the political foment of the late 1960s, and alternative treatment programs practiced today. The piece is structured around three meetings: with the Psychiatric Hospital of Trieste’s theater company Accademia della Follia (Academy of Madness), comprised of both patients and healthcare workers; Rio de Janeiro’s Freaked on the Scene Theater of the Oppressed; and activist Carmen Roll, former member of the German Socialist Patients’ Collective (SPC).
In an interview, Roll expounds on the SPC’s antagonism toward asylums in the early 1970s, rooted in the group’s belief that the social relations initiated by capitalism were responsible for physical manifestations of madness. The contemporary theater programs use creative expression as therapy and revise divisions between normality and abnormality, attempting to erase the prejudice and social exclusion associated with mental illness. In this mesmerizing piece of cinema, radical thought that may seem far-flung is interlaced with practical programs achieving successful results.