For Madness is Freedom in Prison

Scott Beveridge

1996, 06:00 minutes, colour, English


As a filmmaker and writer who has been involved in the AIDS movement through activism and art, I have found myself wrestling with the challenge to develop a vision that can transcend the normalized boundaries of grief and seek to construct new vocabularies to describe /transcribe death and anger on a human as well as a political level.

This piece explores codified notions of freedom and imprisonment, of abandonment and accomplishment. It attempts to map the conclusion of a personal struggle to find a voice amidst the violence of AIDS. Through image, text and music, it charts the anger and burgeoning insanity that emerges from the attempt to transgress traditional notions of rebellion and resistance that to the "free" man has become useless and imprisoning.

As the free man claws to escape incarceration in the world around him and rip the pain out of his body/sexuality, the prisoner projects the calm of solitude through the abandonment of evolution and spirituality, until the two image meld together in a fleeting moment of clarity. The juxtaposition of images of the external as retention and internal as liberation serves to provide a backdrop for his lunacy.

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