If these walls could talk
Produced by SiobhÃ¡n Ward
If walls can hold memories, what sort of echoes linger in the closed units of our psychiatric institutions as they approach their demise? Moving through the corridors, dormitories and day rooms of these decaying spaces, we hear the faint traces of forgotten voices â€“ the people who spent the best part of their lives committed to these asylums. Throughout, these people remain invisible, as we move through the empty place of their past.
- Show treatment
The hospitals we filmed in for this production remain anonymous, as do the people who we interviewed. I didnâ€™t want to make a statement about any one particular institution but rather to make a film, which said something about Irish society and the approach to mental health care in the past as a whole. The people are not seen partially for creative reasons â€“ their voices are presented as memories to which the walls are the only witness â€“ but also as an indication of how people with mental illness are often nameless and voiceless in Irish society. The people who gave interviews came from different parts of the country, and had spent anything from 30 to 60 years in psychiatric care. The reasons they were first brought in, particularly in relation to the older women, were unclear, even to them. In other cases, the people had breakdowns and never recovered.
- Anna Rodgers ... Director
- SiobhÃ¡n Ward ... Producer
- Tony Craunston ... Editor
- PJ Dillon ... Director of Photography
- William H Rodgers ... Sound design
- Prod. Co.
- Yellow Asylum Films
- Years of Production
- Prod. Partners
- Irish Film Board
- Release year
- Cork Film Festival, Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, Stranger than Fiction Ireland, Silverdocs Documentary Fesitval, Galway Film Fleadh, Guth Gafa
- Best Short Film - Thin Line Film Festival, Best Short Film - Stranger than Fiction, Ireland 2010. Best Short Documentary - Kerry Film Festival 2010 (adjudicated by James Marsh)
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