'Til Madness Do Us Part: (Feng Ai)

From The dGenerate Films Collection

Directed by Wang Bing

238 minutes / Color
English; Mandarin / English subtitles
Release: 2016
Copyright: 2013

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.

"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

"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

"A devastating cinematic experience, ‘Til Madness Do Us Part is a reflection of a harsh sociopolitical reality that most people shy away from." —Swapnil Dhruv Bose, Far Out Magazine

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A film by Wang Bing

Select Accolades

  • Winner, Three Continents Film Festival 2013
  • Venice Film Festival 2013
  • Toronto International Film Festival 2013
  • Viennale 2013
  • Rotterdam International Film Festival 2014
  • Hong Kong Film Festival 2014


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