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A couple of days before 1899 Christmas, the Oxford new graduate Dr. Edward Newgate arrives at the Stonehearst Asylum to complete training for his specialty of asylum medicine. He is met by armed men who take him to Dr. Silas Lamb, who welcomes his help and takes him under his wing. Edward is shocked to see the methods that Dr Lamb uses to run this asylum. He becomes infatuated with Eliza Graves, one of the patients who is a lady of status and does not seem to belong. One night, Edward overhears a knocking from the bowels of the facility and is shocked to find that everything is not as it seems in this place and that his uneasy feelings may be justified. What will Edward Choose? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Plot Keywords:madhouse|mental institution|asylum|mental asylum|patient| See All (102) »
Taglines:No one is what they seem.
Genres:Drama | Horror | Mystery | Thriller
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)Rated PG-13 for disturbing and violent images, sexual content and language| See all certifications »
Parents Guide:View content advisory »
Official Sites:Official site
Release Date:24 October 2014 (USA) See more »
Also Known As:Stonehearst Asylum See more »
Filming Locations:BulgariaSee more »
Production Co:Icon Productions, Sobini FilmsSee more »
Show more on IMDbPro »
Sound Mix:Dolby Digital
Aspect Ratio:2.35 : 1 See full technical specs »
Did You Know?
TriviaThe movie is based on short story written in 1844 by Edgar Allan Poe - "The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether". See more »
GoofsWhen Silas is about to light up Edwards mind with voltage and then reaches in Edwards pocket for the photo, the electrodes spark denoting Mickey had thrown the switch. But Silas places them in one hand and the sound of them colliding should have denoted the electrodes connected lighting Silas up like a Christmas tree. See more »
QuotesThe Alienist: Believe nothing that you hear. And only one-half of what you see.
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ConnectionsVersion of House of Madness (1973) See more »
Written by Camille Saint-Saëns
Arranged by John Debney
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Some colleges and universities are considering how to respond to students who request being excused from certain assignments on the grounds that the content of a book, film or other work may upset them or even trigger symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Some are considering making it mandatory for professors to warn students in advance about texts whose graphic nature could be upsetting.
What do you think is fair? Why?
In the article “Warning: The Literary Canon Could Make Students Squirm,” Jennifer Medina writes about how “trigger warnings” are being addressed on campus:
Colleges across the country this spring have been wrestling with student requests for what are known as “trigger warnings,” explicit alerts that the material they are about to read or see in a classroom might upset them or, as some students assert, cause symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in victims of rape or in war veterans.
The warnings, which have their ideological roots in feminist thought, have gained the most traction at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where the student government formally called for them. But there have been similar requests from students at Oberlin College, Rutgers University, the University of Michigan, George Washington University and other schools.
… “Any kind of blanket trigger policy is inimical to academic freedom,” said Lisa Hajjar, a sociology professor at the university here, who often uses graphic depictions of torture in her courses about war. “Any student can request some sort of individual accommodation, but to say we need some kind of one-size-fits-all approach is totally wrong. The presumption there is that students should not be forced to deal with something that makes them uncomfortable is absurd or even dangerous.”
Bailey Loverin, a sophomore at Santa Barbara, said the idea for campuswide trigger warnings came to her in February after a professor showed a graphic film depicting rape. She said that she herself had been a victim of sexual abuse, and that although she had not felt threatened by the film, she had approached the professor to suggest that students should have been warned.
Ms. Loverin draws a distinction between alerting students to material that might truly tap into memories of trauma — such as war and torture, since many students at Santa Barbara are veterans — and slapping warning labels on famous literary works, as other advocates of trigger warnings have proposed.
“We’re not talking about someone turning away from something they don’t want to see,” Ms. Loverin said in a recent interview. “People suddenly feel a very real threat to their safety — even if it is perceived. They are stuck in a classroom where they can’t get out, or if they do try to leave, it is suddenly going to be very public.”
The most vociferous criticism has focused on trigger warnings for materials that have an established place on syllabuses across the country. Among the suggestions for books that would benefit from trigger warnings are Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” (contains anti-Semitism) and Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway” (addresses suicide).
Students: Read the entire article, then tell us …
— To what degree do you identify with any of the ideas or opinions regarding trigger warnings that are expressed in the article?
— How would you respond if you were a teacher who has just been approached by a student who wanted to opt out of an assigned reading due to concern it will trigger negative memories and reactions?
— Where do you draw the line between being sensitive to the needs of students and professors’ freedom to choose what to teach?
— Have you ever struggled with having to read a book (or watch a movie) for an assignment that caused you personal distress or turmoil? If so, how did you handle it?
— What are the advantages and disadvantages of allowing students to opt out of certain assignments? Explain.
Questions about issues in the news for students 13 and older.