Art of Psychiatry Society


Shock Head Soul
May 2, 2012, 10:45 am
Filed under: Film

Meeting tonight – Wednesday 2nd May 2012

Screening of Shock Head Soul

Small Lecture Theatre Institute of Psychiatry 6.00pm

Followed by discussion with Helen Taylor-Robinson (screenwriter and psychoanalyst) and Clive Robinson (psychiatrist) who appears in the film.

Born in 1842 Daniel Paul Schreber was a successful German judge.  In this middle age he developed delusions of control, suffering the belief that he was shifting gender and that his body was subjected to cruel ‘miracles’. He was diagnosed as having dementia praecox and spent time in an asylum.

In an effort to be judged sane enough to return to living with his wife and daughter, Schreber described his illness in his book Memoirs of My Nervous Illness.  This became influential in the history of psychiatry and psychoanalysis due to its interpretation by Sigmund Freud.

Shock Head Soul interleaves documentary interviews, fictional re-construction and CGI animation to portray Schreber’s story. The film’s mix of forms creates both a love story and a cinematic essay that explores the borderline between religious vision and deluded fanaticism, and explores the intimate link between family secrets, psychiatric diagnosis, and the limits to our contemporary understanding of mental illness.

The film is directed by Simon Pummell and was shown at both the Venice and London film festivals.  More details of the film here

(Unfortunately this is not a public meeting and is for employees of the Institute of Psychiatry/South London and the Maudsley Trust and by invitation)


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