Directed by Wang Bing • Documentary • 2013 • 238 minutes
Within the gates of an isolated mental institution in in southwest China's Yunnan province, patients are confined to one single floor of a building. Once locked in, with little contact from the outside world, anything goes.
The facility's inmates have been committed for different reasons: perhaps they may have a developmental disability, have committed murder, or simply angered local officials. But once inside, they all share the same life and cramped living quarters, staring at a barren, iron-fenced courtyard and seeking comfort and human warmth wherever they can find it.
'TIL MADNESS DO US PART uses handheld camerawork and digital video to interrogate mental illness and criminality, therapy and incarceration, and the relationship between individuals and society. Riveting, terrifying, tender—and unforgettable.
"Filmed at a mental hospital that resembles hell on earth, ['Til Madness Do Us Part locates] gleams of humanity amid the squalor." —Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times
"Devastating; brings near microscopic attention to a slow drop of chaos, making each shot land like a new round of punishment." —Andrew Chan, Film Comment