Seduced by Jung, killed by hate, redeemed by history. In 1905 a 19-year-old Russian girl suffering from severe hysteria is admitted into a psychiatric hospital in Zurich. A young doctor, ...
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Seduced by Jung, killed by hate, redeemed by history. In 1905 a 19-year-old Russian girl suffering from severe hysteria is admitted into a psychiatric hospital in Zurich. A young doctor, Carl Gustav Jung, takes her under his care and for the first time experiments with the psychoanalytical method of his teacher, Sigmund Freud. Based on recently exposed secret correspondence between Jung, Freud and Sabina Spielrein, this true story begins with the Spielrein's healing, closely related to her passionate love affair with Jung, followed by her return to post-revolutionary Russia ? where she became a psychoanalyst herself founding the famous White School ? and her sudden death in 1942, the victim of Nazi violence. The investigation of this story becomes an essential component of the film via two modern researchers, Marie, a young French scholar, and Fraser, a historian from Glasgow, who follow Sabina's life from Zurich to Moscow to Rostow, leading to the discovery of missing portions of the...Written by
Harmony Gold USA, Inc.
I saw this film after I saw "A Dangerous Method", which covers much the same territory. I didn't know it existed.
Both films feature the relationship between Carl Jung and his patient Sabina Spielrein. He became a significant pioneer in the field of psychoanalysis, but so did she. While "A Dangerous Method" deals with the morally challenged relationship, it also involves Sigmund Freud and his falling out with Jung, "The Soul Keeper" instead focuses on the life of Sabina.
"Method" has an eye-popping performance by Keira Knightley. Although I don't think "The Soul Keeper" is as successful overall, it too features a powerful portrayal of Sabina, this time by Emilia Fox. There are plenty of fireworks, but her vulnerability gets to us. Jung (Iain Glen), on the other hand, emerges as a bit of a rat.
"The Soul Keeper" uses the framing device of a modern day woman, Marie Franquin (Caroline Ducey), searching for information on Sabina's life. Grafted on maybe, but it does help bridge the gap when Sabina goes from mental patient to well-known psychoanalyst in pre-war Russia.
Marie receives help from a Scottish friend played by Craig Ferguson no less. It's a long way from his roles on the Jim Carey show or his late night U.S. talk show. This credit is buried in his CV among comedy films (I love "The Big Tease") and voice-overs for cartoons.
Sabina's transition from patient to psychoanalyst is brought out more in "A Dangerous Method" where we see her helping Jung with his work - in between spanking sessions that is. Apparently spanking and father issues were a big part of the real Sabina's hysteria. In "A Dangerous Method", we don't miss one swish of the belt, but it doesn't feature in "The Soul Keeper". However the film doesn't hold back on Sabina's degradation before her eventual recovery.
"The Soul Keeper" is well made, but the score by Andrea Guerra is overly emphatic. Howard Shore's score for "A Dangerous Method" is far more sensitive to the drama.
Both films end on a poignant note, and both reward more than one viewing.
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