Free the Mind | Chicago Reader

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75 minutes · 2013

Directed by Phie Ambo, this slight but intriguing documentary looks at recent advances in nonpharmacological treatment of neurological disorders. Ambo follows three people—two veterans of the war in Afghanistan who suffer from PTSD and a preschool boy with ADHD and a crippling fear of elevators—as they work with doctors to overcome their conditions without prescription drugs. A wealth of information is sufficiently articulated, though the film's greatest strength is Ambo's compassion toward the subjects. Despite the difficult personal questions she poses, even the most emotionally charged moments feel cathartic rather than exploitative, which is rare for documentaries dealing with mental illness.

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