The Radical Will

Susan MacKay

1984, 28:00 minutes, colour, English


This tape was produced with the intention of illuminating the prevalent conditions of the state of so-called "madness", specifically female. The dismissive denial aspect of this condition is presented in somewhat of an indictment against the abusive overdosing of neuroleptic drugs and prison-like confines for troubled (and mostly oppressed) women slotted into this "healing" environment. Underlying and incorporated into this theme is the primordial, spiritual power of women, as expressed for example in narrative form by Sylvia Plath. The basis of this tape is the presentation in various forms (mostly voice-over) of four women who were, at the time of taping, in a state of incarceration in psychiatric institutions. They explore their personal experiences and in all four cases, explore the mystical and spiritual conditions shaping their reality.

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Critical Writing

The New Work Show
by Victor Coleman. Vanguard, Nov. 1984, v. 13, no. 9.
The New Work Show
by B.D. Hershorn. Toronto: Litho Offset, 1984.