Frederick Wiseman Edgar Z. Friedenberg - Essay

Edgar Z. Friedenberg

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The delayed development of hostile reactions by the subjects of Wiseman's films is one of the more revealing social responses his work evokes. Titicut Follies is, indeed, a disturbing document, but not for quite the reasons I, or presumably Bridgewater's directors, had expected….

Having gone to see Titicut Follies expecting to be shocked by the exotic horrors of the snake pit, I emerged with a much sadder sense that what I had seen differed only in degree from everyday life. These patients were afflicted, certainly, but the nature of their disorder was clear enough, very common in America, and serious indeed. They suffered from disastrously low status compounded by poverty, which had...

(The entire section is 1367 words.)