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Last Friday Lunch - March 2023

Karen Folger Jacobs, Berkeley filmmaker and Third World Film educator, will talk about the making of Mary Ellen Mark: Ward 81, a book reissued in 2008 that Karen coauthored with renowned photographer Mary Ellen Mark in 1975, about the making of Milos Forman's film "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", shot on location at the Oregon State Hospital, a mental institution.

While on set, Mary Ellen and Karen met the women of Ward 81, the only locked hospital security ward for women in the state: The inmates were considered dangerous to themselves or to others. In February of 1976, just before the ward closed (it ceased to exist in November of 1977, when it became the female section of a coeducational treatment ward), Mary Ellen and Karen were given permission to make a more extended stay, living on the ward in order to photograph and interview the women. They spent 36 days on Ward 81, photographing and documenting. Karen recalls their slow, inevitable assimilation: "We felt the degeneration of our own bodies and the erosion of our self-confidence. We were horrified at the thought of what we might become after a year or two of confinement and therapy on Ward 81." Everyone is welcome to join us and share experiences of your community action, whether it’s setting up a food collection drive or organizing a protest march. Lunch is $5 for vegetarian or pescatarian pizza from North Star Pizza, and you’re always welcome to bring your own.


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