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Freedom of the Mind

25 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 04 March 2014

Ingrid Betancourt was held captive by the infamous FARC rebels in Colombia and endured six years as a hostage in the jungle - sometimes chained by her neck to a tree. Betancourt, who had been kidnapped while standing for the presidential election, was subjected to extreme deprivation. She was repeatedly mocked and humiliated, both by her captors and fellow captives. Yet she survived and not least because she was determined to hang on to her identity.

Through Ingrid’s story and the stories of others, Freedom of the Mind explores how the mind reacts to enforced captivity. She talks to people who have been held in isolation for long periods, but who managed to find an escape within the boundless worlds of their own imaginations.

Can the mind be free even though the body is trapped, held captive and forced to live through terrible hardship?

(Photo: French-Colombian former FARC hostage Ingrid Betancourt. Credit: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

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