The Lobotomist is a documentary film which follows the story of Walter J. Freeman, a neurologist who fathered the lobotomy.
He believed his work could help the mentally ill and secure them a more stabile life. However, most often his procedures would end in utter tragedy.
Throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s Freeman would perform thousands of lobotomies.
His research and bleak 4-minute surgical operations showered him in praise from the medical circles, yet a vast amount of his patients had become locked inside their minds as zombies.
During the time of Freeman’s reign, medical history surrounding mental illness was still a very big mystery. Because of this great unknown, many people were misdiagnosed and were lobotomized as a result.
It wasn’t unheard of for a person to be lobotomized for showing even the slightest aberration from “normal” behaviour.
This riveting (and often very unsettling) documentary from PBS secures a glimpse into a time where medical history was at its darkest. Where neuro surgical procedures such as the lobotomy were normal across the western world and often ended in tragic results.
- Release date2008
- Full runtime
- Director(s)Barak Goodman, John Maggio
- Production companyWGBH