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  • Did You Used to be R.D. Laing?
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Did You Used to be R.D. Laing?

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Drawing on stories from Laing's own life and from his patients' experiences, and following him through a series of lectures and workshops, the film presents a portrait of the radical psychiatrist as an engaging, witty and irreverent character. Laing shares his insights into the art of therapy, the lies we tell each other in the name of love, the recurring patterns of behavior that sometimes can be traced to birth, and the regrettable human instinct to suppress any behavior and thought that is strange or disturbing. The film reveals its subject as a thinker of great originality and genius whose compelling charisma and gusto made him an equally effective storyteller and prankster.

Review

The film itself is a fine example of the subtle directness and simplicity that Laing asks for, being at once convivial and co-present. --The Guardian

Fascinating profile of the radical psychiatrist, the viewing surprise of the week. --The Sunday Times

Laing is pure pleasure to watch, a huge spirit, genuinely loving and completely honest. This portrait of him is completely inspiring. --The Vancouver Sun

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: R.D. Laing
  • Directors: Kirk Tougas and Tom Shandel
  • Format: Dolby, NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Direct Cinema Limited
  • DVD Release Date: April 25, 2007
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B000PUBA7W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,912 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Did You Used to be R.D. Laing?" on IMDb

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William Timothy Lukeman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 12, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
R. D. Laing ... if you're old enough, the name will conjure the heady days of the 1960s, and the dazzling (if sometimes disorienting) pages of "The Politics of Experience" ... the emphasis on "breakdown as breakthrough" ... the fierce & fiery denunciations of not only the psychiatric establishment, but all establishments, especially the power pyramid of the family.

And then what?

Laing's fame & influence faded with the passing decades, and he suffered unjust dismissal by his peers & by history at the time of his death in 1989. No question that he was sometimes a flawed human being -- who isn't? Certainly the specifics of some of his theories have been largely discredited -- by the establishment, of course! Perhaps with some just cause, too.

Even so, what emerges in this fine, insightful film is the portrait of a passionate, driven, often tormented man striving to help his fellow human beings, to see his patients as flesh & blood individuals first, rather than as convenient labels from a diagnostic manual. Deeply suspicious of the way in which mainstream society so easily equated "different" with "mentally ill" -- even more suspicious of the ways in which anguished outsiders were marginalized & their personal experiences denied in the name of the status quo -- Laing comes across as a man wounded by his own upbringing, but also made sensitive to suffering because of it.

In several sequences, actual patients allowed themselves to be filmed discussing their lives & wounds with Laing. The courage & vulnerability on display here is stunning ... and so is the degree of trust they show in Laing. And clearly that trust was honored in full.
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