Hot Docs 2022: Our Review of ‘Corrupted’

Hot Docs 2022: Our Review of ‘Corrupted’

Directed by Juan Cifuentes Mera, Corrupted takes a journey into the mind of Andrea. She’s a fictional young woman whose experience is comprised of those real psychiatric patients. Suffering from memory loss and confusion as a result of electroshock therapy, Andrea’s world is one of blurry memories and misperceptions. She’s attempting to either drive her car or simply trying to remember her mother. The damage done to her mind has irrevocably changed the experience of her life.

Unlike other documentaries about the subject of trauma, Corrupted is made to be felt as much as it is to be understood. The film visually depicts the tragedy of mental breakdown and the damage that psychological treatments cause to the mind. The film is brief in its runtime. It does its best to reveal the sort of confusion and disruption of mental perspective. One that takes place in the midst of electroshock therapy. It also mixes moments of fear and confusion with fragmented memories in an effort to re-create these personal experiences.

Through the distorted visuals and static, Corrupted identifies the fragility of the human mind. Although doctors intended these forms of therapy for healing, so too do we bear witness to the reality of suffering that result. For patients such as Andrea, shock therapy has irreparably changed her experience of the world. Andrea suffers from the effect of her therapy. She is trying desperately to pull her life together from the fragments she can collect from stories and home videos. However, whereas her home life was once a comforting place, it now feels foreign (and even threatening) to her. As such, the true tragedy of Corrupted is the tragedy of therapeutic abuse and that it remains full of questions without answers.

For Andrea, the trauma has led to relentless terror.

This post was written by
Born at a very early age, Steve is a Toronto-based writer and podcaster who loves to listen to what matters to our culture on screen. When he first saw Indiana Jones steal the cross of Coronado, he knew his world would never be the same and, since then, he’s found more and more excuses to digest what’s in front of him onscreen. Also, having worked as a youth and community minister for almost 20 years, he learned that stories help everyone engage the world around them. He’s a proud hubby, father (x2) and believes that Citizen Kane, Batman Forever (yes, the Kilmer one), and The Social Network belong in the same conversation. You can hear his ramblings on ScreenFish Radio wherever podcasts are gettable or at his website, ScreenFish.net.
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