Intrigue, suspense, and empathy in Scorsese’s Shutter Island

Shutter IslandI just watched Shutter Island, a suspenseful and beautiful film directed by Martin Scorsese and released in 2010. The story takes place in 1954: a time of change in the ways mentally ill patients were viewed and treated (and, specifically, the year that chlorpromazine was approved by the FDA).

The real value of the film is that watching it ultimately helps one understand the experience of living with a psychotic disorder. It in fact has given me another layer of understanding and empathy for an irascible and accusatory patient I was struggling to help just yesterday.

I don’t want to spoil the experience of watching the movie by elaborating any more. I just recommend that you rent and watch it! (The DVD extras are certainly worth watching as well.)