Established in 1247 in the City of London, the Bethlehem Hospital, Bedlam as it became known, is the world’s oldest institution for the care of the mentally ill. At a time when all healthcare was privately funded, it sought to raise funds and encourage charitable giving by inviting people to visit it and see its patients. But the challenging behaviour of some of its inmates turned it into a freakshow. People flocked to gawp at its abject, disturbed, sometimes disturbing residents, who were kept safely behind bars in their filthy cells. And thus “going to the lunatics” became a popular and socially acceptable form of entertainment. Bedlam is an immersive documentary that propels the audience to the very heart of Bedlam asylum as it was in the 17th century: absurd, shocking, chaotic, grotesque and ultimately poignant.