LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN (1976) [Feature]

Canada (MIFF 1977 )
Director: Barbara Greene

Twin Valleys is a rehabilitation centre for young people in Southern Ontario. Drug takers, delinquents and people with psychiatric problems are referred from the courts and psychiatric institutions. Listen Listen Listen follows the progress of five individuals through the daily routines at the centre, working, relaxing together, joining in therapy sessions. They pour concrete, put up buildings, make music and struggle to adjust to one another and themselves.

The Centre's director, George Boone tells them, 'You're hurt, you're lonely, you're isolated. Doesn't that tell you something about the route you've taken? Surely, there's got to be something better.' Therapy sessions are edited to highlight individual case histories. From Cheryl in group session, the film cuts to her parents discussing her past. The mother is direct, where Cheryl is evasive; yet they are alike in their defensive manner and nervous smiles.

Throughout the film, George Boone emphasizes the difference between Twin Valleys and regular training schools. He attempts to teach his students to live fully and freely, and to assume responsibility for their own lives. He describes Twin Valleys as 'a spiritual community'. 'Living without spiritual essences is not living', he says, 'that is hell'. The film poses the challenge of attempting to live open and honest lives in what is seen as an insane society.

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