As cinéma vérité, West 47th Street gives voice to people with mental illness, allowing subjects to speak for themselves without commentary. The result challenges viewers to look behind the disease to see the individual. Because West 47th Street puts a compelling, human face on mental illness, it is uniquely suited to stir and inform viewers in a way that statistics and policy talk cannot. The result provides an excellent springboard for discussions about accommodation, acceptance, and allocation of resources, and ultimately, about how our view of people with mental illness shapes their quality of life.
Download the discussion guide for West 47th Street: