The Soul Keeper

Sabina Spielrein was the first patient with whom Dr. Carl Jung attempted "the talking cure," a method learned from his mentor Sigmund Freud. Spielrein also became a psychoanalyst, making contributions to the field of child psychiatry. Roberto Faenza's rich and compelling narrative brings Spielrein and Jung to life through the considerable chemistry of actors Emilia Fox (The Pianist) and Iain Glen. Dr. Jung admits Spielrein, a 19-year-old Russian Jew, to a Zurich psychiatric hospital in 1905 for treatment. The doctor and his patient set off down the labyrinthine road of psychoanalysis, wherein they discover secrets of the mind as well as the pitfalls of transference. Spielrein's intellect and her physical charms seduce Jung. He appeals to Freud for counsel, remarking insightfully, "Love is as close as you can get to psychosis." Spielrein's healing is bittersweet precisely because it draws on her passion for Jung, which cannot be sustained. But she recovers, attends medical school, and becomes the first female psychoanalyst in Switzerland. Her trajectory from analysand to analyst, from girl to woman, and from patient to healer is inspiring; her compassionate intellect rises like a phoenix from the ashes of her own lunacy. The film concludes in the post-revolutionary Soviet Union, where Spielrein founds the White Nursery, the world's first psychoanalytical school for children. Her work with children comes under the scrutiny of the Stalinist regime, with which she refuses to cooperate. Spielrein's story reveals the humanity of a woman who deserves to be more than a footnote in the history of the mind.
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