Real to Reel: Psychiatry at the Cinema

Author(s): Ron Roberts


The cinema has an important presence in modern life, not just for its contributions to entertainment and the economy but also because of what it tells us about ourselves and our societies. Psychiatry's appearance on the big screen reflects psychiatric practice at the same time as shaping our understanding of it. Real to Reel critically examines psychiatry's relationship with those it manages by examining seven key films which use that relationship to raise important questions about the public understanding of psychiatric power, and the role of psychiatrists in the social construction and manipulation of both personality and social reality. Ron Roberts analyses how real and cinematic psychiatry deal with the treatment of women, ethnic minorities, young people as well as the relationships between voluntary and involuntary psychiatry, psychoanalysis and biological psychiatry, and fiction and reality. His sometimes dramatic conclusions demonstrate just what is at stake for us all.


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Ron Roberts, Ph.D., C.Psychol is Senior Lecturer/Reader in Psychology at Kingston University. He has held posts at the Institute of Psychiatry, University of Westminster, King's College Medical School, University College London, St Bartholomew's Medical School, Queen Mary College and the Tavistock Institute. This is his fourth book. 'Just War : Psychology and Terrorism' is also published by PCCS Books.

Acknowledgements Introduction: Psychiatry, the director's cut 1. Shutter Island: History, memory and torture 2. Changeling: Psychiatry, gender and law 3. Donnie Darko: Something wicked this way comes 4. A Beautiful Mind: Pharmaceutical secrets and lies 5. An Angel at My Table: Madness, identity and fiction 6. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: Insanity, justice and control 7. Spellbound: Psychiatric power, surrealism and truth 8. Conclusion: Psychiatry, terrorism and reality References Appendix: The Nuremberg Code Index of Films Reviewed Index of Names and Subjects

General Fields

  • : 9781906254421
  • : PCCS Books
  • : PCCS Books
  • : September 2011
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Ron Roberts
  • : Paperback
  • : 362.2
  • : 129