State Of Shell Shock

Apr 30, 2022 | Military/War, Videos

This is a 1946 American documentary directed by John Huston, and it represents the last one in a three film series which Huston directed while in the service in United States Army Signal Corps. Most of the filming was done at the Edgewood State Hospital in Long Island, New York.

The story revolves around 75 US soldiers who suffered depression and severe emotional trauma while serving in the military. A number of scenes show their admission into the hospital, the treatments that they underwent and the aftermath. The documentary is characterized as highly controversial due to the way it portrayed soldiers that were shell-shocked.

Some of these treatments included new medication and even hypnosis. The viewers are left under the impression that the soldier were cured, but the narration states that there remained on psychiatric care.

The screening of this documentary was at the Cannes Film Festival in 1981. The Library of Congress selected this documentary for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 2010, describing it as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

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