Free the Mind

Professor Richard Davidson works with people suffering from psychological problems at the University of Wisconsin’s Waisman Center. They include two American war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and a young boy with ADHD and anxiety. Free the Mind follows Davidson as he attempts to tame the human mind. Though we know that the human brain changes over the course of a lifetime, precisely how this comes about remains largely a mystery. For some people, a subtle change in their frame of mind could successfully eradicate their disorders. This film follows the three traumatized test subjects in their daily lives and during therapy sessions, which are based on tried and tested Eastern techniques such as yoga and meditation. The patients make rapid progress, a fact confirmed by psychological tests assessing how negatively or positively they experience the world. Conventionally filmed scenes are interspersed with seemingly abstract imagery illustrating the workings of the human brain. These psychedelic, “spacey” sequences suggest an immense and highly interactive universe, with endless discoveries to be made. “This is the most complicated organ in the universe,” says Davidson while standing next to a model of the brain. “We’re just beginning this journey.”

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