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1:55 | Trailer
This cinematic feature documentary is more than a classic biography. Yalom takes the audience on an existential journey through the many layers of the human mind while he shares his fundamental insights and wisdom.


Sabine Gisiger


Sabine Gisiger
2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview:
Irvin D. Yalom Irvin D. Yalom ... Himself
Marilyn Yalom Marilyn Yalom ... Herself


Bestselling author, popular scholar and existentialist Irvin D. Yalom is one of the most influential living psychotherapists. Dr. Yalom's books sold millions of copies worldwide and critics describe him as: mind-bending, stunning, inspiring, haunting, life-changing. This cinematic feature documentary by Sabine Gisiger is more than a classic biography. Yalom takes the audience on an existential journey through the many layers of the human mind while he shares his fundamental insights and wisdom. Written by Das Kollektiv GmbH

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A Guide to Happiness


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Release Date:

2 October 2014 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Yalom's Line See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$684, 13 March 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$684, 13 March 2016
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Color | Black and White (archive footage)
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Did You Know?


Solveig's Song
Composed by Edvard Grieg
Played at the beginning
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User Reviews

The flow of life
9 October 2014 | by r-l-fellnerSee all my reviews

This biographic documentary about the life and work of renowned psychotherapist Irvin Yalom is a sensitive, slow and touching collection of interview sequences and film segments covering the whole span of time from the immigration of his parents until now.

Unlike the secondary title ('A Guide to Happiness' - who came up with this one, marketing dept.?) suggests, the movie doesn't reveal any formerly unknown 'secrets' on how to live a happy life, in Yalom's interviews he rather touches a few of the difficult riddles that are an integral part of our human existence, like the ambivalences of freedom, the possible meaninglessness of life, the fear of death and others. And while we become eyewitnesses of the deep connection and long marriage of Yalom with his wife Marilyn, we are also surprised to hear that all of his children have already been divorced.

So all in all, the movie gives us some insight about the personal life and professional striving of Dr. Yalom, who in his work has built a bridge between psychotherapy and philosophy, illustrating that one can't go without the other: psychotherapy should face the big philosophical questions about our existence - potentially fearsome questions that may be suppressed for some time, but that will have to be dealt with in our lives at some point ... and philosophy as a humanistic science that is rooted in the unexplored depths and uncertainties of the human mind.

I would recommend watching this movie to anyone who likes movies that make you think about life, and of course to anyone who is interested in Yalom's work or a fan of his books.

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