Category Archives: Psychology

West 47th Street: Mentally Ill and Homeless


West 47th Street is a warm and passionate cinéma vérité documentary video that follows four individuals suffering from different mental illness (mainly schizophrenia) – off the streets and out of homeless shelters, in and out of the healthcare facilities, at home and at work, over a period of 3 years.

The film provides an unprecedented window on the actual lives of people who are often overlooked and ignored, rarely understood, and concentrates on their resilience, positive outlook and grace.

The four main characters of the film (Fitzroy Fredericks, Frances Olivero, Tex Gordon and Zeinab Wali) are members of the psycho-social rehabilitation facility Fountain House, located in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen.

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Rule from the Shadows: The Psychology of Power

Rule from the Shadows: The Psychology of PowerThe pursuit for dominance is the primary propellant of history, always has been, always will be. Those who don’t identify this assumption are not excused in the grand chess game, but instead are displaced and exploited by forces they do not comprehend.

From the aspect of those who rule the board it is unmistakably desirable to have a populace of unaware pawns than it is to have a bunch of adversaries who can escalate an effective battle. To that end it has always been preferable for the rulers to build up illusions which conceal the true nature of the game.

Walter Lippmann explained the “manufacture of consent” as an innovation in the usage of democracy. Basically it’s a method of domination, and he said this was beneficial and essential because the prevailing interests, the accepted concerns of the population elude the public. Lippmann wasn’t theorizing, nor was he explaining anomaly that he had observed from far away, he was part of that particular class and he directly affected the evolution of this new method of control.

So what was this new method that Lippmann was alluding to? The answer to that inquiry takes us back to the dawn of World War I. In 1917 Woodrow Wilson assembled the Committee on Public Information, also known as the CPI. It was a disinformation bureau and its goal was to boost war approval among the American people. The CPI, controlled by a man named George Creel, was known for its vulgar approach, blatant overstatements and outright deceptions.

However one representative of the CPI, Edward Bernays, had a much more sophisticated approach. Instead of using nonintellectual tactics Bernays analyzed the psychology of the American people, then according to his scrutiny he conceived a campaign to advocate the idea that America’s function in the war was to: “make the world safe for democracy.”

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Children of Darkness

Children of DarknessChildren of Darkness is an Oscar nominated 1983 documentary film produced and written by Richard Kotuk and Ara Chekmayan. It explored the topic of juvenile psychiatry – an acute lack of mental health care in America for seriously emotionally disturbed youth.

Many children in these institutions were simply warehoused and the common basic form of therapy was drugs, which didn’t really help the kids but merely controlled them. The film not only uncovered the mistreatments in mental institutions but it also captured the cold realization that mental illness can happen to anyone. Public mental institutions were not just for the poor. Children from middle class families and upper middle class families often ended up there due to inadequate insurance money and dwindled savings.

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What The Bleep!? Down The Rabbit Hole

what-the-bleepFollowing the release of What the BLEEP Do We Know!?, The filmmakers were besieged by requests for more: More information, more science, more applications to their personal lives.

August 1, 2006 marks the response to these requests with the release of What the BLEEP – Down the Rabbit Hole, Quantum Edition multi-disc DVD set.

Featuring two (!) extended versions of What the BLEEP Do We Know!?, never before seen DVD programming features, 20 minutes of new animation, new interviews, along with 5 hours of uncut interviews and a filmmakers Q&A, the Quantum Edition contains over 15 hours of material on 6 DVD sides.

Not only does this compendium of topics BLEEP give the viewer enough material for weeks/months of exploration, but with the programming features, it allows them to specify “How far down the Rabbit Hole” they wish to go. Or, if they wish to “Go Quantum” by using a randomization function on their DVD player, the film restructures itself every time it’s viewed so it’s never the same film twice.

The original WTBDWK was made for a theatrical experience of under two hours. With these new expanded versions, the filmmakers were finally able to include all the topics as originally intended. The completed picture presents all the elements that are intrinsic to the worldview put forth in BLEEP. Topics such as Quantum Entanglement, the Double Slit Experiment, Healing and the Cell, the split and re-unification of spirit and science – all are addressed in the detail required to tell the story. Hopefully they stimulate the viewer to seek further explorations. It may be the definitive BLEEP, but it is not the last word – it’s the final beginning.

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Too Ugly For Love

One in a hundred people is effected by the body dysmorphic disorder, BDD.

People with this serious condition believe they are grotesquely ugly and become obsessed with their look. Most of the time they don´t want to leave the house and have suicidal thoughts.

This illness stops them from leading a normal and healthy life.

This documentary gives extensive information on this extraordinary mental illness and follows sufferers throughout therapy on a way to a normal life.

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