There were so many images to combat in this movie , I had to rewatch it a few times . With Beth Haller's book fresh on my mind as well as a new op ed piece in the NY times that is asking for the return of the Asylum , I wonder about what this movie still does to thought of people who are mentally ill. Even typing that term in this moment , leaves me questioning what is sanity? The chief seems to be a figure the regains consciousness , but the movie does not dissect the way race and ability plays out . Interactions are there through out the movie between the servants and the ward and interestingly enough , the native american was in the ward with white men.
I know nurse rathchet's character is infamous in this movie. But I have to tell you , as much I know it was supposed to be focused on the people .I was focused on the steril environment , especially when counter narratives always spoke of the stench in institutions and the severe neglect and abuse. Also , the book references the interplay of race and ability , the movie does not as much. The focus is on the able bodied individual who is made to be insane. This representation only instills fears and concerns about criminals an dthe need to maintain the continual institutionalization of individuals who are considered deviant . The literal breaking out of the chief left so much to be desired .. and as usual leaves us with a singulair critique of people vs systemic issues of how one comes to be disabled systemically . But then again maybe it does , since that was what i was left to ponder when I was done. Had I not been in this class however , I would not be critical in that light.