Sigmund Freud, a Jew Without God
Curator: Marie Shek
29 Feb — 8 August, 2020
Sigmund Freud, a Jew without God
France 2019 | 90 min | French | Hebrew & English subtitles
Director: David Teboul
Producer: Richard Copans
Source: Les Films d’Ici, Paris
Voices: Isabelle Huppert (Anna Freud), Mathieu Amalric (Sigmund Freud)
French filmmaker, artist, and writer David Teboul unfolds the chronicles of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis and one of the most influential figures in the 20th century, based on his personal letters. He uses archival footage and periodic photographs, which often resemble paintings, supplemented with narration, thereby animating the film and infusing it with a vocal aspect and additional depth. The use of all these to tell Freud’s life story yields a poetic masterpiece, at once historical and dramatic. The viewer is drawn into the lives of Sigmund Schlomo Freud and his daughter-successor Anna, and led through the major stations in Freud’s life: from his birth in the 19th century, through his childhood and acquaintance with the bible, where his love for the written word was kindled, to personal and historical events that shaped one of the greatest scholars of the human psyche, the unconscious, and dreams, as the tragedy of the Nazi rise to power gradually approaches in the background.
As early as the outbreak of World War I, Freud already realized that the world was changing, and not for the better. Despite his loyalty to Judaism, he refused to take part in the Zionist enterprise, preferring to remain a European. The film guides us to the 20th century, during which the theory of psychoanalysis developed, the same century in which millions of human beings were exterminated, thus juxtaposing good and evil, creation and annihilation.