A Hole in the Head (1998)
Directed by Eli Kabillio
1998 54 minutes
Rated: [NR] (not for the squeamish).
Reviewed by Dustin Putman, July 22, 1999.
"A Hole in the Head," a documentary which premiered in February on cable's The Learning Channel and is now available on video for $19.95 through Mad Dog Films, Inc. (1-800-475-2233), is the first in a planned series of films from Eli Kabillio on unconventional topics in medical, biological, or other scientific realms. The title, "A Hole in a Head," says it all, as this fascinating, but ultimately empty, documentary focuses on the development of "modern" trepanation, a controversial procedure that some people have been known to perform on themselves, in which a sizable hole is drilled out of the skull, allowing greater brain blood volume and increasing the person's metabolism and their energy. Trepanation is a hotly-debated surgery that I knew nothing about going into the film, and although informative and educational, as a documentary film it is decidedly lackluster, with the majority of it merely being the "talking heads" of professionals and patients discussing their opinions on the subject. While we learn a lot about trepanation, we learn virtually nothing about the people on view, thus giving us no emotional center or added interest.
©1999 by Dustin Putman