IMDb > Opium: Diary of a Madwoman (2007)

Opium: Diary of a Madwoman (2007) More at IMDbPro »Ópium: Egy elmebeteg nö naplója (original title)

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View company contact information for Opium: Diary of a Madwoman on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 March 2007 (Hungary) See more »
A drug-addicted doctor (Thomsen) who works in an asylum discovers that one of his patients (Stubo) is a gifted writer. | Add synopsis »
7 wins & 4 nominations See more »
(2 articles)
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User Reviews:
A brilliant film for those who can appreciate more than the boring fluff and cheap thrills churned out by most mainstream filmmakers See more (4 total) »


  (in credits order)

Directed by
János Szász 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Géza Csáth  diaries
András Szekér 
János Szász  screenplay

Produced by
Tracy Brimm .... co-producer
Heiko Burkardsmaier .... executive producer
Andras Hamori .... producer
Bernd Helthaler .... executive producer
Lacia Kornylo .... executive producer
Kate Myers .... co-producer
Michael Reuter .... co-producer
Pál Sándor .... producer
Erika Tarr .... line producer
Original Music by
Jóhann Jóhannsson 
Cinematography by
Tibor Máthé 
Film Editing by
Anna Kornis 
Production Design by
Tibor Lázár 
Set Decoration by
Judit Sajber 
Costume Design by
János Breckl 
Makeup Department
Hildegard Haide .... key makeup artist
Erzsébet Rácz .... key hair stylist
Production Management
Zsolt Valkony .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Zsolt Dankó .... first assistant director
Siska Ildikó .... third assistant director
István Molnár .... second assistant director
Áron Mátyássy .... assistant director
Szabolcs Tariska .... second assistant director
Sound Department
Márk Hörömpöli .... boom operator
Manuel Laval .... supervising sound designer
Sabrina Naumann .... sound editor
Peter Roigk .... foley artist (as Peter Roik)
Matthias Schwab .... sound re-recording mixer
Marcus Sujata .... foley mixer
Visual Effects by
Linus Burghardt .... digital compositor
Csaba Juhász .... title design and production
Camera and Electrical Department
Edit Blaumann .... assistant camera
Zoltán Bók .... electrician
Miklós Hajdu .... gaffer
Viktor Racsek .... electrician
Editorial Department
Benedek Kabán .... digital intermediate colorist
Erika Köcsky .... post-production coordinator
Other crew
Szabolcs Barta .... film grading
Mark Horowitz .... international sales
Ágota Horváth .... cashier
István Molnár .... location scout
János Papp .... health and safety advisor
Sephira Salazar .... executive assistant: Andras Hamori
Géza Varga .... caterer

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Ópium: Egy elmebeteg nö naplója" - Hungary (original title)
See more »
90 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Dr. Brenner:[On the train, after having had sex with a young woman, whose name he doesn't even know] As many times before, I was shocked by how swiftly a girl could be ruined, and turned into a woman, at least in spirit.See more »


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16 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
A brilliant film for those who can appreciate more than the boring fluff and cheap thrills churned out by most mainstream filmmakers, 10 January 2010
Author: tombur1 from Australia

This is a powerful film that had me riveted to my seat during its entire length. The acting of the entire cast - especially the two lead characters - is absolutely brilliant, the script is well- crafted & believable and the photography is both hauntingly beautiful and absolutely bone- chilling.

The film focuses on the deep and disturbing relationship that develops between the opium- addicted Dr Brenner (Ulrich Thomsen), a doctor who arrives to work in an institute for the insane in the early 1900s, and his patient Gizella (beautifully portrayed by Norwegian Kirsti Stubo). She is a long-term inmate who is obsessed with the idea that she has been possessed by the devil, and whose only release from her inner torments is to write compulsively and almost non-stop in her diaries. Brenner's professional interest in Gizella becomes complicated by his growing envy of the fact that she can write so freely and passionately, while he - an aspiring writer - struggles to put any words on paper. Their relationship is further complicated by a powerful mutual desire that develops between them, culminating in an intense sexual episode, and by the fact that Brenner begins to appropriate Gizella's writings, which he plans to pass off as his own. Gizella comes to believe that the sexual relationship between her and Brenner means that they are now "husband and wife", and her condition appears to improve. However, when Brenner repudiates & mocks her belief in front of the head of the institution (played with just the right amount of icy arrogance by Zsolt Laszlo), she becomes hysterical. Her madness returns and even increases in intensity. During the ensuing treatment - which is more like torture - Gizella begs Brenner to give her relief from her ongoing torment by "removing my brain". Brenner's subsequent actions provides the climax to this powerful film.

The depiction of the horrific treatment inflicted on psychiatric patients in the early years of last century may be deeply disturbing to many, but it is absolutely truthful. Electroshock therapy, ice-water showers, force-feeding, total confinement and even frontal lobotomies (crude brain surgery) were part of accepted medical practice of the time for those considered "insane". I absolutely disagree with those who have described this film as "exploitive' - it simply shows the situation in all its grim reality pretty much exactly as it was back then. In fact many of these forms of treatment were continued until the late 1950s, even in supposedly enlightened countries like Australia.

In summary, a riveting and beautifully crafted film that will leave you with haunting memories for years to come.

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