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Icarus Film
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provocative documentary films
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From the dGenerate Films Collection
'Til Madness Do Us Part(Feng Ai)
A film by Wang Bing
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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.

film still

'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.

"There are endurance tests, and then there is this... An unsparing chronicler of the abused and neglected in his country's darkest corners, Chinese documentarian Wang Bing pushes his starkly immersive strategies to a grueling yet empathetic extreme."Justin Chang, Variety

"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

"A Foucauldian vision, Bing's documentary lays the patient's plight and vulnerabilities bare before the camera."Ela Bittencourt, The Brooklyn Rail

"Mundane activities such as dressing and undressing oneself, lighting a cigarette, and lying beneath a blanket with another inmate come to seem like peoples' declarations of their own humanity. ...In chronicling individual, present-day lives, Wang gives a sense of his country's recent history."Aaron Cutler, Cineaste

2014 Rotterdam Film Festival
2014 Göteborg Film Festival
2014 Hong Kong Film Festival
2014 Sydney Film Festival
2014 Edinburgh Film Festival
2014 Melbourne Film Festival
2014 Geneva Film Festival
2013 Venice Film Festival
Winner, 2013 Festival des 3 Continents of Nantes
2013 Toronto Film Festival
2013 Rio Film Festival
2013 Busan Film Festival
2013 DocLiaboa
2013 Viennale
2013 Golden Horse Festival

238 minutes / color
Mandarin & Yunnan dialect w/ English su
Release: 2016
Copyright: 2013
Sale: $350

Subject areas:
Anthropology, Art, Asia, Asian Studies, China, Cinema Studies, Psychology, Sociology, dGenerate Films Collection - Documentaries

Related Links:
The Films of Wang Bing

Related Titles:
Three Sisters: Three little sisters live alone in a small village in the high mountains of the Yunnan region. The little girls don’t go to school, spending their days working in the fields or wandering in the village.

Disorder: Footage from a dozen amateur videographers becomes a symphony of urban social dysfunction in China.

The Iron Ministry: Filmed over three years on what will soon be the world's largest railway network, traces the vast interiors of China on the move.

Liberation: The User's Guide: Yulia and Katia are inmates held in a Siberian mental facility against their wishes.

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Last Updated October 24, 2016
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