The film looks at the traumatic experiences of patients in East German psychiatric care. A powerful portrayal of the struggle to reform "soul work under socialism".

Everyday life in psychiatric institutions in East Germany was defined by dire material conditions, excessive medication administration, coercion and violence. In the early 1960s, dedicated doctors tried to reform mental health care in the GDR. Unsuccessfully. Other attempts to introduce more respectful doctor-patient relationships and to improve the rehabilitation and integration of the mentally ill failed in the 1970s and 1980s. Lack of resources, distrust of state authorities, but also resistance from senior physicians who were afraid of losing their privileges prevented the “democratisation” of psychiatric care. Many SED functionaries believed depression, suicide or alcoholism should not even exist in socialist Germany. In the 1980s, Lothar Tiedtke spent time in a psychiatric institution in Stralsund in the north of the GDR. Being committed to a psychiatric facility aged 19 for what he believed were also political reasons profoundly impacted Tiedtke’s life. The qualified shipbuilder is still fighting for his rehabilitation today – so far unsuccessfully. Another patient, Chris Timmler, was not freed until 1989 after spending 10 years in a psychiatric institution. Her diagnosis of schizophrenia proved baseless. This documentary is a powerful portrayal of the struggle to reform "soul work under socialism".