The Naked Room
Educational/Institutional DVD: $298
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A film by Nuria Ibáñez. Mexico, “El cuarto desnudo,” 2013, 67 mins. In Spanish with English subtitles.
For classroom use in: Adolescence, Children, Counseling, Ethics, Family Relations, Healthcare, Human Rights, Latin American Studies, Mexico, Parenting, Psychology, Psychiatry, Sexual Abuse, Suicide Prevention, Trauma
About the Film
The location: a pediatric therapist’s office. The characters: severely depressive child patients and their anguished parents. In Nuria Ibáñez’s fascinating and acclaimed documentary, the austere interior of a Mexico City hospital is the setting for a profoundly moving and educational film. The Naked Room offers the opportunity to study and witness the trauma of a series of youths who suffer from issues including severe depression, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder from assault and more. Many of the children in the film pose a danger to themselves or others; the office is their parents’ last hope at saving their children from suicide, life behind bars, or a straightjacket.
About the Filmmaker
One of the most exciting new directors in contemporary international cinema, Nuria Ibáñez made her feature debut with her 2009 film The Tightrope (La Cuerda Floja), which won the New Look Award at the Visions du Réel Festival in Switzerland. In 2010, she and filmmaker Mercedes Moncada co-founded the production company Miss Paraguay Producciones. The Naked Room is her second feature film. Born in Spain and trained as a journalist, Ms. Ibáñez currently lives in Mexico.
In the Press
★★★ “Youths who are struggling with mental illness take center stage in Nuria Ibañéz’s fly-on-the-wall documentary that revolves around intake conversations between patients and unseen psychiatrists in a Mexico City clinic (the voices of parents also sometimes appear on the audio track). …Cinematographer Ernesto Pardo’s camera focuses on the subjects’ faces the entire time, which is dramatically compelling… [T]his is an often fascinating documentary in which the filmmaker’s non-judgmental approach serves the material well. Recommended. “—Video Librarian
“The Naked Room is a minimalist documentary that captures the heartbreaking truths behind children suffering from mental illness. …Many educational materials on the topic of mental health too often focus on symptoms and diagnoses and fail to capture the humanity behind mental illness. This film highlights the humanity. The children’s issues are complex, which leaves much to be inferred by the viewer. This aspect of the documentary has many educational merits for psychology and counseling programs. …This documentary raises more questions than it answers, but this is what makes the film beneficial for academic library collections.”—Educational Media Reviews Online
“Simple yet intensely powerful; Nuria Ibáñez’s The Naked Room packs a world of emotion into its structure consisting entirely of a series of intense close-ups. …The compressed running time was a wise move for a film of this unflinching starkness; if it were any longer, it would simply be unbearable to watch.”—The Hollywood Reporter
“3.5/4 Stars! A reminder of cinema’s inimitable power to invoke empathy, a humanist ideal that The Naked Room reduces to its barest, most potent form.”—Slant Magazine
“I wanted to deal with first wounds—the initial pains that stick with us and accompany us throughout our lives. …I believe in the ‘direct cinema’ tradition of observing more than interfering… Before the youth began their consultations, I would approach them and their families to explain the nature of our documentary, making clear that the project came from my personal interest without sponsorship from the local Department of Health, and that it was their choice whether to participate. Only if they agreed to do so could I enter the consultation room with them. ” —Director Nuria Ibáñez interviewed by Aaron Cutler, ArtForum
“Listening to the children, their parents and the doctors during consultations allows us to have a more profound and complex view of our social reality and of human nature.”—Documentary Magazine
“A haunting exploration of mental illness in children.”—Variety
“Powerful! Simply, one of the strongest Mexican films of the year.”—TwitchFilm
“Approaches the tumultuous intimacy of Mexican families through these testimonies, shedding light on aspects of society that being part of the domestic arena usually remain in the dark.”—University of Mexico International Film Festival Festival (FICUNAM)
“Shows the harsh reality of these children [and] you can see the care and respect toward their stories in the tragic beauty in which they are told.”—En La Butaca
“A work that achieves a lot with very little, since it is enough to listen to the children and their parents during the consultations to see the fragility of human nature.”—El Universal
Selected Festivals & Awards
2015 Western Psychological Association
Best Feature Documentary Award, 2014 MiradasDoc
Best Film, Human Rights Section, 2014 Buenos Aires International Film Festival (BAFICI)
Best Film, 2013 REC Tarragona International Film Festival
Best Documentary and Best Documentary by a Female Filmmaker, 2013 Morelia Film Festival
Winner, LCI Seguros Prize, 2013 University of Mexico International Film Festival Festival (FICUNAM)
Official Selection, 2014 Ambulante Film Festival
Official Selection, 2013 Riviera Maya Film Festival
Official Selection, 2013 DocsDF Film Festival
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