Cinema both reflects and influences public attitudes and beliefs. It is, therefore, a particularly useful medium in which to assess how we view certain institutions and professions in society. Psychiatry is one of those institutions and professions that people can have very strong opinions about, and which is regarded by many as a force in society to be mistrusted. While there are, indubitably, valid criticisms of psychiatry coming from the critical psychiatry and anti-psychiatry movements, I argue that a great deal of public perception of psychiatry is influenced by cinema (and mass media more generally).
Originally published at https://www.samwoolfe.com on December 17, 2020.