Children of Darkness


This documentary covers the lives of young people in an institution for those with learning difficulties. Filmed in 1983, it shows the utter lack of common sense or maturity with which the psychiatric community responded to mental illness prior to the 1990s. It would be unimaginable to envisage a situation today where kids from such massively divergent needs would be shoved under one roof and treated as a 'problem'. Physical and mental abuse was widespread and the so-called treatment of these kids was abominable. As this one-hour long film shows.

I saw this maybe a decade ago and it was already celebrated as an early example of the art of exposé journalism.

Brian McAnally was doing well in sheltered accommodation but sadly passed away on the 28th July 2016 aged 53, following a lifetime of therapy for his problems. Details about others in the film are sketchy at best. Probably the most heart-rending moment for me is seeing Gerry utter the words "Yes, think I can...I think I can".

Many former staff members came forward to complain, but to my knowledge nobody was ever imprisoned for the crap that these young people experienced at this institution. Certainly not any of the senior staff academics.



By: RazorSharp (1621.40)

Tags: Mental illness