Blue Room - 2022

Blue Room - 2022

In two US prisons, participants in a mental health experiment watch nature videos on loop, prompting them to reflect on isolation and wilderness.

– edited and associate produced by Isidore Bethel / directed and produced by Merete Mueller

– Hot Docs, Prismatic Ground (NYC), Mountainfilm, Rooftop Films

– 12 minutes

– with support from IF/Then Shorts|Field of Vision, Rooftop Films, John Logan Family Foundation, and Mountainfilm in Telluride

Filmmaker: “An inverse form of psychiatric conditioning appears in Merete Mueller’s ‘Blue Room,’ in which participants within two US prisons take part in a ‘mental health experiment’ by watching nature videos on loop. When one participant describes thinking about the room where he watches the nature videos when he sees glimpses of trees outside, one only hopes that deconditioning is still possible.”
ForReel Movies: “Just like how watching footage of nature is meditative for the inmates, the documentary itself becomes a meditative experience for the audience…The minimalism of ‘Blue Room’ speaks volumes about the isolating conditions inmates endure, the effect that has on their mental health, and how important nature is to our psyche.”

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