Joker distorts link between mental illness and violence
The critically acclaimed film Joker is playing to packed cinemas, but its portrayal of mental illness is worrying
The world of cinema has long used mental illness as a focus for a riveting story. Who can forget the stellar performances of Jack Nicholson in The Shining and, of course, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest?
In one he descends into some vague but violent disorder and terrorises his family, and in the other he plays a ‘sane’ interloper in a 1960s state asylum, dominated by the brutal Nurse Ratched.
Influence of popular culture on public opinion
The depiction of electroconvulsive therapy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is believed to have dissuaded many from receiving a treatment that, the evidence suggests, can be beneficial. Ultimately, Nicholson’s free-spirited character is subjected to a...