Here are the gripping personal dramas of new immigrants and native-born Americans coping with a host of problems in times of war and economic hardship. The confusion following upon displacement; the rage or despair that resulted from illness, loss of loved ones or work; the experience of hearing disembodied voices were only some of the misfortunes that put them on the path to an institutionalization from which most would never escape alive. As it restores the humanity of the individuals it so poignantly evokes, The Lives They Left Behind reveals the vast historical inadequacies of a psychiatric system that has yet to heal itself.In a similar vein, the Australian short film Maraquita explores the story of the false incarceration of an Australian women in an Australian psychiatric hospital.
The story is told by her son Tony who visits the institution where she was incarcerated for 22 years on a diagnosis of being 'mildly eccentric'. Maraquita was separated from her 5 children and subject to experimental treatment and operations without her consent.
Tony spent 50 years of his life seeking justice for his mother.