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A cup of coffee, a cigarette. A coin, another cup of coffee. Patients roam the halls. They walk alone. Waiting. Another smoke, a burning cigarette. Therapies that appeal to the senses. Routines that pull them back to reality. It's life repeating itself at psychiatric hospital spaces'. Lucidity and madness live together. From the outside world comes an actor in search of his character for a theatre play, diving into the inner world of schizophrenia. Patients are part of the creation of the character. Amidst the haze, the actor finds a poem by Ângelo de Lima, an alienated. The theatre character is born. Cinema documents it.
Right from the start, patients I treated and colleagues I trained, appear on screen. Slowly, without fuss, I was introduced into the normal day-to- day life of an old psychiatric hospital from Portugal. The dialogs are not written or improvised, but normal conversation between patients, and with their carers. A window opens to simple lifes inside the hospital walls. A theater play is being prepared to commemorate an important visit by a dignitary decades ago. An actor comes to the hospital, he is going to play a famous poet who lived for years inside the hospital. But first, he must learn to know, and think, and feel, the life of the patients. Silence is only interrupted by the dialogs, and the sound of rain. It's winter. But the relationships between the real people living inside the hospital, are never cold. A must see.
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