Three Christs follows Dr. Alan Stone who is treating three paranoid schizophrenic patients at the Ypsilanti State Hospital in Michigan, each of whom believed they were Jesus Christ. What transpires is both comic and deeply moving.
Three Christs is based on an extraordinary experiment that began in 1959 at Michigan's Ypsilanti State Hospital. It tells the story of Dr. Alan Stone and his three paranoid schizophrenic patients who each believe they are Jesus Christ. Dr. Stone pioneers a simple, yet revolutionary treatment: instead of submitting the patients to electroshock, forced restraints and tranquilization, he puts them in a room together to confront them. Will this force them to give up their delusions? After all, there can be but one Jesus. What transpires is a darkly comic, intensely dramatic story about the nature of identity and the power of empathy.
"Three Christs" was a last minute choice of mine at the TIFF. As a big Dinklage's fan, and considering that it was a world premiere, it was easy enough to go check it out. I'm glad I did. This movie is one about the brain and its struggles, but it does so with a big heart. It's funny and touching with a good balance, and the acting is top notch (I'm actually a bigger Dinklage's fan after the movie). The underlying themes about psychiatry as science and its potential negative effect on personality, the nature of identity, the complex interaction of desire and fear are inhabiting the film and are as relevant today as they were at the time. In summary, a great entertaining movie with a deeper layer... and a stellar Dinklage!
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