Olvidada Ciudad de los Idiotas

Pedro Ortuño

As in some of his previous work, in this piece Ortuño focuses on a hidden reality, a marginal territory. However, contrary to his practice in other videos, in this one he uses found film footage, which he has appropriated and edited. The title is taken from a press headline, and the images proceed from a film called Adiós al Manicomio (Good-bye madhouse), made by Antonio Cassola in 1987. This was an institutional film which portrayed and told the story of a now extinct institution, Valencia’s psychiatric hospital.

The film shows us the spaces that the inhabitants of an old convent occupied, and the chores that they carried out, whilst a voice-over tells of the totally anachronistic treatments that they were subjected to. We also hear the stories of some of the patients who lived at the centre, who now live outside and have no possibility of ever recuperating the years that, very often for no good reason, were taken away from them whilst inside.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Olvidada Ciudad de los Idiotas
  • Direction: Pedro Ortuño
  • Production: Imágenes cedidas por Antonio Cassola en Adiós al Manicomio, 1987. 2005.
  • Duration: 00:09:30
  • Languages: Spanish
  • Original format: DV-Cam
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: NTSC - PAL
  • License: Copyright