Bedlam
Now Streaming

Bedlam


About the Film

To get to the bottom of the current mental health crisis in the U.S., psychiatrist and documentarian Kenneth Paul Rosenberg, M.D. chronicles the personal, poignant stories of those suffering from serious mental illness, including his own family, to bring to light to this epidemic and possible solutions. Shot over the course of five years, Bedlam takes viewers inside Los Angeles County’s overwhelmed and vastly under-resourced psych ER, a nearby jail warehousing thousands of psychiatric patients, and the homes — and homeless encampments — of people affected by severe mental illness, where silence and shame often worsen the suffering. MORE

Rosenberg follows the lives of three patients in particular who find themselves with a chronic lack of institutional support while weaving in his own story of how the system failed his late sister, Merle, and her battle with schizophrenia.  Featuring interviews with experts, activists, individuals living with a mental illness, and their families, Bedlam builds on historical footage and commentary related to mental health, exploring the rise of this issue on a national scale in the mid- and late 20th century. 

The Filmmaker

Kenneth Paul Rosenberg, M.D. has been making award-winning documentaries since medical school. While a medical student at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, he also studied film at NYU. He co-produced and co-directed (with Ruth Neuwald Falcon) An Alzheimer’s Story, a film about living with Alzheimer’s disease, filmed over the course of eighteen months. After his residency in Psychiatry at the Payne-Whitney Clinic at New York Presbyterian Hospital, he did a Fellowship in Public Health, during which he directed and produced Through Madness, a film on serious mental illness, for PBS. While a practicing psychiatrist, Ken produced and directed films for HBO, including Why Am I Gay?: Stories of Coming Out In America (Oscar Documentary Feature Shortlist), Back From Madness, and Drinking Apart, and executive produced Cancer: Evolution to Revolution (Peabody Award-winner). He is also the editor of medical textbooks and author of popular books including Bedlam: An Intimate Journey Into America's Mental Health Crisis, which was published by Avery/Penguin Random House.  LESS

Film Credits

Directed, Produced and Written by
KENNETH PAUL ROSENBERG

Produced and Written by
PETER MILLER

Edited by
JIM CRICCHI

Director of Photography and Co-Producer
JOAN CHURCHILL, ASC

Location Sound and Co-Producer
ALAN BARKER

Cinematography
BOB RICHMAN

Additional Cinematography and Project Development
BUDDY SQUIRES, ASC

Additional Editing
JAMES HOLLAND

Original Music
DANNY BENSI
SAUNDER JURIAANS

Executive Producers
SALLY JO FIFER
LOIS VOSSEN

Supervising Producer
SHANA SWANSON

Consulting Producers
SARA BERNSTEIN
JON ALPERT
MATT O’NEILL
CLAIRE ROSENBERG
ALEXANDER ROSENBERG

Associate Producers
JULIO LAGOS
CHRISTOPHER BARLEY, MD
GEORGE CRAWFORD

Additional Editing
ANNA GUSTAVI
KATE TAVERNA
JOHN M. WILSON
AMANDA ZINOMAN
ANTHONY SIMON

Co-Editor
KENNETH PAUL ROSENBERG

Consulting Editor
ENAT SIDI

Advisors
KATE AMEND, ACE
THOMAS BENA
KAREN GOODMAN
MICHAEL LEVINE
SHEILA NEVINS
CHERYL ROBERTS
JOHN SNOOK

Additional Cinematographers
ALAN BARKER
FERAS FAYYAD
BATTISTE FENWICK
SALAMO MANETTI-LAX
BILL MEGALOS
PETER MILLER
GUY MOSSMAN
NAIM REECE
KENNETH PAUL ROSENBERG
JOIA SPECIALE

Additional Sound
ANN M. CELSI
PAUL GRAFF
DAVID McJUNKIN
PETER MILLER
THERESA RADKA
MARK ROY
BRETT ULERY

Design and Animation
MOLLY SCHWARTZ

Animation Producer
ANGELA FOSTER

Animators
ARIEL MARTIAN
SOLGIL OH

Additional Motion Graphics
THE MEDIA DARLINGS

Assistant Editors
CHRISTA ARTHERHOLT
LUCAS FRANK
MITCHELL KWAK JOHNSON
RICHARD RUBIN

Creative Consultant
LYNN NOVICK

Assistant to Dr. Rosenberg
SAM DECKER

Legal
MICHAEL DONALDSON
PETER RIENECKER

Bookkeeper
JEFF BERZON

Archival Research
PETER MILLER
JUSTINE M. PIERCE
LINDSEY SCHNEIDER

Audio and Video Post-Production
HARBOR PICTURE COMPANY

Colorist
ADRIAN SEERY

Sound Editor
IRA SPIEGEL

Assistant Sound Editor
MATT RIGBY

Re-Recording Mixer
JOSH BERGER

Post-Production Supervisors
ANTHONY SIMON
JAMES HOLLAND

Archival Materials Provided by 
ABC NEWS
ASSOCIATED PRESS
CORNELL MEDICAL CENTER ARCHIVES
CRITICAL PAST
GETTY IMAGES
GLIDEBYJJ
HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA
INTERNET ARCHIVE
KTWU
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
METROPOLE FILM BOARD
NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE/NIH
NBC NEWS
ODDBALL FILMS
POND5
RONALD REAGAN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY
BILL ROSENBERG
HEDY TAUB
IVAN TAUB
SVERIGES TELEVISION AB
THE DRS. NICHOLAS AND DOROTHY CUMMINGS CENTER FOR THE HISTORY OF PSYCHOLOGY,
THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON
WAZEE DIGITAL/CBS NEWS
STEPHEN WEBER
WESTCHESTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY
WSB NEWSFILM COLLECTION, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA LIBRARIES
BOB ZITIN
DAVID ZITIN
TODD ZITIN

Additional Music

CHASE DESO

"Spiegel Im Spiegel"
Composed by Arvo Pärt
Courtesy of Universal Edition AG
Performed by Benjamin Hudson and Jürgen Kruse
Courtesy of Naxos of America

"#BLMHere"
Written and performed by Damon Turner

Fiscal Sponsor
INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY ASSOCIATION

Production Support Provided by
HBO

Funding Provided by
JOHN D. AND CATHERINE T. MACARTHUR FOUNDATION
PATTY QUILLIN THROUGH THE MEADOW FUND AT THE SILICON VALLEY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
SANTEL MCGINNIS FAMILY CHARITABLE FOUNDATION THROUGH FIDELITY CHARITABLE
ROBINSON FAMILY FUND THROUGH MARIN COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
TOWER FAMILY FUND
ALTA MIRA RECOVERY PROGRAMS
BERGMAN FAMILY FUND THROUGH NATIONAL PHILANTHROPIC TRUST
PEG’S FOUNDATION
RODNEY FERGUSON
STUART GASNER CHARITABLE FUND THROUGH THE FARALLON FOUNDATION
GEORGE CRAWFORD
ANNETTE CAMPBELL-WHITE
GREENBURGER CENTER FOR SOCIAL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
RUEDIGER NAUMANN-ETIENNE
BILL A. and DANA STARLING
DEHGAN FAMILY CHARITABLE FUND THROUGH FIDELITY CHARITABLE
BIJAN SALEHIZADEH
CHRISTINE NASH
LISA CHADWICK
ROBERT GROTTO
THEODORE ISRAEL, JR. and CAUREN CUTLER ISRAEL
AND OTHERS. A COMPLETE LIST AVAILABLE FROM PBS.

Original Series Funding Provided by
THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING
JOHN D. AND CATHERINE T. MACARTHUR FOUNDATION
WYNCOTE FOUNDATION
THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS

BEDLAM is a co-production of UPPER EAST FILMS, LLC and Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

BEDLAM was produced by UPPER EAST FILMS, LLC, which is solely responsible for its content.

© Upper East Films, LLC, 2020. All rights reserved.

Share your own experiences dealing with mental health care. Do you have anyone in your family who went through an experience similar to the filmmaker's or his sister's? What can the United States do better in treating people with serious mental illness? How can we have a national conversation about it?
Please review our comment guidelines.
Share your own experiences dealing with mental health care. Do you have anyone in your family who went through an experience similar to the filmmaker's or his sister's? What can the United States do better in treating people with serious mental illness? How can we have a national conversation about it?