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Mental Illness: Major Films  
TitleClean, Shaven (1993)
Alternative/Original Title
DisabilityMental schizophrenia
CountryUSA
Length80
GenreDrama
Rating2
DirectorLodge H. Kerrigan
CastPeter Greene Megan Owen Jennifer MacDonald Molly Castelloe Robert Albert J. Dixon Byrne
NotesThe story of Peter a schizophrenic told from his point of view. Peter has been in a mental hospital for several years and he leaves though 'insane' and untreated. He sets out to find his daughter who had been living with her grandmother but has since been adopted. The aspect of Peter's condition we mainly see is his obsession with being clean and free of body hair. The story element of the film is in some ways irrelevant. This is a film full of shocking, uncomfortable images which include self mutilation. In fact the film is so difficult to watch I can't recommend it. Even the film's style is alienating with many close-ups (a la Pasolini) and some disjointed editing. The acting is not so important as the camera work. The pathology is horrific though I suggest not realistic (but see below). The police procedure is amateurish and complicated by the main detective's own quirky behaviour. For example he follows his own daughter around and 'kidnaps' her so they can spend the day together. The police are involved because Peter is suspected of killing a young girl. Some of course will gain insight from this film but that I think would require more than one viewing. James Bernardelli (see his review at IMDB) quotes a psychiatrist as saying "the best portrayal of untreated schizophrenia ever [presented] on film."

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