Albert Maysles “Psychiatry in Russia” (1955)

American documentary film-maker Albert Maysles died this week, after a long and auspicious career. Although perhaps best known for his films of the counterculture era made with his brother David – and in particular Gimme Shelter (1970) which followed the Rolling Stones during their US concerts in the late ’60s – Maysles first documentary from 1955 was made after a visit to Soviet ‘mental hospitals’ after travelling across Russian and Ukraine by motorcycle. It remains one of the few films to document clinical practice and training in Soviet psychiatry of the era, including footage of Pavlovian ‘electro-sleep therapy’.

The New York Times published Maysles obituary on 6th March.

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