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
According to Keira Knightley, at first she didn't know how to play her character's hysteria. When she read some of Spielrein's notes she noticed the woman described her condition as being like "a demon or a dog". Knightley then started to pull faces and contacted David Cronenberg through Skype to show him the results until they both agreed on one. See more »
Sabina Spielrein's closing history is incorrect. Her death, along with her 2 daughters, actually occurred in August 1942, not 1941. Their deaths were only 3 among 27,000 in the massacre that occurred in Zmievskaya Balka, Rostov-on-Don, Russia by German forces. See more »
[to his new patient]
Good morning... I'm Dr. Jung. I admitted you yesterday.
I'm not... I'm not mad, you know.
Let me explain what I have in mind. I propose that we meet here, most days, to talk for an hour or two.
Yes. Just talk. See if we can identify what's troubling you. So as to distract you as little as possible, I'm going to sit there, behind you. I'm going to ask you to try not to turn around and look at me under any circumstances. Now...
[...] See more »
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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