Suffering from hysteria, Sabina Spielrein is hospitalized under the care of Dr. Carl Jung who has begun using Dr. Sigmund Freud's talking cure with some of his patients. Spielrain's psychological problems are deeply rooted in her childhood and violent father. She is highly intelligent however and hopes to be a doctor, eventually becoming a psychiatrist in her own right. The married Jung and Spielrein eventually become lovers. Jung and Freud develop an almost father-son relationship with Freud seeing the young Jung as his likely successor as the standard-bearer of his beliefs. A deep rift develops between them when Jung diverges from Freud's belief that while psychoanalysis can reveal the cause of psychological problems it cannot cure the patient. Written by
The apocalyptic dream, described by Jung may refer to the beginning of World War I (1914-1918). During World War I Jung was drafted as an army doctor and soon made commandant of an internment camp for British officers and soldiers. Swiss neutrality obliged the Swiss to intern personnel from either side of the conflict who crossed their frontier to evade capture. Jung worked to improve the conditions for these soldiers stranded in neutral territory; he encouraged them to attend university courses. See more »
When Jung and Freud sail to America, the Statue of Liberty they pass by has a golden torch. But the statue's original torch, in place till 1984, had portholes in it which were illuminated from within. Not until 1986 was the current gold-leaf covered torch installed. See more »
It seems to me the measure of the true perversity of the human race, that one of its very few reliably pleasurable activities should be the subject of so much hysteria and repression.
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"Excerpts from Siegfried"
by Richard Wagner, original publication by Schott Music GmbH & Co KG, Mainz, Germany, 1876.
Adapted by Howard Shore, published by South Fifth Avenue Publishing, 2010. See more »
I am a Cronenberg fan. I think a History of Violence is one of the greatest films ever made! I also think Eastern Promises showed what happens when a great Director pairs with an awesome muse. I anticipated this film eagerly but after watching it I was left with mixed feelings. Perhaps this is because the script was not as tight as that of the first two films I mentioned. It was never going to be easy capturing something as abstract as psychoanalysis on film, yet I can say that this film does ramble on at times and it is slow. A History of Violence was slow but the pay off was fantastic. Here there was no pay off. We were shown the lives of three great, complicated minds and that was it. After reading about the lives of the three central characters I can safely say that perhaps this was not the film Cronenberg should have made about Freud. He opted respectfully for the less dramatic and more factual and I think this sacrifice could have hurt what could have been another Cronenberg/Mortensen smash-hit. That said, I also think Keira Knightley was a mis-cast and Mortensen and Fassbender were as perfect as ever. Looking forward to the next Cronenberg flick. This wasn't awful but I expected more.
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