About this work
This is a wartime documentary film showing the neuro-psychiatric treatment and rehabilitation of neurotic civilians and soldiers by the Emergency Medical Services in an (unnamed) home counties hospital. Starting with the intertitle 'Report from Britain No. 1', there are scrolling intertitles which explain the need for specialist hospitals. Apparently there are seven hospitals dealing with neuroses. The hospital in this film is a large converted public school and has separate units for men/women, civilians/servicemen and women. Statistics for 'neurotic' cases are provided for the years 1940, 1941 and 1942. Cases are analysed carefully with the express purpose of rehabilitation back to ordinary life or service. The admissions unit is shown. A nurse circulates an information booklet about the hospital routine and canteen arrangements. Some of the scenes involving the patients are clearly recreated for the purposes of the film (and make for very uncomfortable viewing); the medical personnel are reading from scripts, although it is not known to what degree the patients themselves are actually acting. Physical checks are made and the data is used in studying the relationship between physique and habitus. Next 'matrix tests' (both non-verbal and verbal reasoning) are demonstrated and John C. Raven (?) talks to the camera about their use in determining intelligence. A number of psychological interviews are shown in session; a woman is interviewed by a smoking female psychiatrist. Next the film moves on to explain psychometric testing. The film indicates a highly determinalist view of intelligence; a poorly performing airman is given the benefit of doubt and retested, whereas another man who scored highly in testing despite his upbringing is considered to be a dullard who probably cheated in the test. Rorschach (blotting paper) tests are performed. A new 'projection' test has been developed; talking and drawing which reveals 'fantasy' material for the psychologist. Next, a test devised to evaluate the patient's suggestibility is shown (the patient leans forward after being told repeatedly that he is falling forwards). Other manual dexterity tests are shown. For some patients, physical interventions are made; firstly constant narcosis (sleep treatment); insulin treatment and then electro-convulsion therapy (on a civillian woman). Narco-analysis is used on severely neurotic patients; one patient with a severe stammer is shown, followed by a man with a hysterical tremour of his foot and leg. Group talks are given by the doctor once a week on medical subjects. The film emphasises that the treatment is a group effort and the nurses and doctors have case meetings about their patients. Also, patients are given 'remedial' training; physical training. Occupational therapy is also offered; there is a workshop where furniture and toys are made. The patients work in the garden. Basketmaking is also in evidence. Women are shown sculpting, making and decoratung pottery. There is a sign making shop. Some patients are given training at a local college with the view that this will prepare them for civillian or military life.Morale is clearly important. There are also lectures and time for the patients to wind down - some are shown playing cards. The work of the social workers is explained. Finally, the work of 'disposal' is outlined. A number of cases are run through; they are evaluated and their date decided. Evidence provided by the film suggests that many people return to normal life.
1 DVD (62 min.) : sound, black and white, PAL.