Pychomagic, a Healing Art (2019) - full transcript

Director Alejandro Jodorowsky unveils his theory of trauma therapy.

Psychoanalysis was created
by Sigmund Freud,

a neurologist.

It is rooted in science.

Psychomagic was created
by Alejandro Jodorowsky,

a film and theatre director.

It is rooted in art.

is a therapy through words.

is a therapy through acts.

prevents the therapist

from touching the patients.

Psychomagic invites the therapist

to touch the people who consult him.

This form of healing beyond words

was born to me fifty years ago

in the form of initiatory massages.

Here is the first
of my initiatory massages,

mother and father of psychomagic.

When I decided
to invent an art to heal,

I jumped out of my prison,
as if out of an ivory tower,

and entered the pain of the world.

I used a humble set of Tarot cards
as an instrument.

I did not read the future

but the present.

When I began to read
the present of people,

the problems of family fell onto me.

There are repetitions of problems
of two, three, four, five generations.

Cancers that come up again,

rapes, divorces, etc.

All that fell onto me.
From those family issues,

I moved on to social issues
and to cultural issues.

When people in psychoanalysis
have a problem,

they are told with words,

"We are going to look for the trauma
that provoked this infirmity."

So this person looks, speaks,
for 6 months, 10 months, 8 years,

until they figure out,

I'm in love with my mum,
for instance.

The trauma has not been solved.
What can I do?

What can I do?
I know what I have, what can I do?

So I have been obliged to heal,

that is, to invent psychomagic.

Dali said he wanted
to bring dreams into reality.

I followed the anti-surrealistic way,
the opposite.

I said,
everything is in the unconscious.

One can't teach the unconscious
to speak the language of reality.

Reason needs to be taught

to speak the language of dreams.

What is happening?

Darkness is swallowing everything.

It's going to eat us up.

It will pass


Black... Black... Black...

Now you are like it

You are part of darkness

Darkness is your kingdom

You are a monster of the night

Are you hungry?


Black... Black...


My mother dissolved in darkness.

I've never been afraid
of the night ever again.

This year was...

the most difficult year
I've had to live in my whole life.

All my symptoms
moved towards the liver.

My father is a very...

toxic person.

He feeds himself off the harm
and damages he does continuously

to his people and mostly his family.

And I am the eldest.

I feel it in the deepest part
of my being, the deepest.

Two months ago I used...


to get me out of this state.

I thought
of jumping out of the window.

Every day I thought of killing myself.

That's it!

I decided to give back to the earth

this body of pain.

I sacrificed my life,

my childhood,

to rescue my brothers and sisters

from the evil

of my sick father.

Today I yearn to die.



Here is your father.

Take it and set yourself free
from your father.

I have less suicidal impulses.

The Parisian lifestyle
is not right for me.

That is a revelation, I know that.

It's been a while since...

I have loved someone.

I miss it, loving someone.

And it being reciprocal.

Even if it doesn't last.

Anyway... nothing lasts.

Nothing lasts...

It's like life.

There are moments,
you have to seize them.

My mother...

never loved me.

Because she doesn't have any relation
to her mother, it's complicated.


her own mother

had a child with a man she didn't love,

and that is my mother.

And until today,

I haven't been able
to communicate with my mother.

Nor with my father.

He's very locked-in.

He doesn't care at all for...

It's just superficial in fact.

My mother...

has always made me feel guilty

of the fact that I don't love her.

I know it's not my fault.

But nobody can blame a child for that.

In her head, I became an adult,

but I was only 18-months-old.

And so...

I've always...

had to help,

be an adult in fact.

Since the beginning.

I've never had any connection to her.

Do you picture yourself as a mother?

I'm a bit scared.

I don't know if I can give birth.

Do you love yourself?

I feel happy.

I feel like I love myself more.

I don't feel any hatred or anger

my "real parents”.

I feel super at peace.

I know that today
my life is about to change.

I know it.

I mean that the couple...

If you want to talk about the couple,
the couple is...

It is shaken.

I wouldn't say threatened
or endangered,

but the couple is shaken
in an awful way.

I am in such deep anger

that I erase my memories.

I have been turned into an eraser.

Every time I erase memories.

I feel that I was a child...

an unwanted child.

Because the only sentence
I remember from my mother...

She said,


"you were born at home, not in hospital.

"Otherwise I would have said

"there was a mistake in your identity."

Amongst eight children in the family,
I was rather the person...

the punching bag.

I was beaten up all the time.

Even for nothing.

The night comes,
you are awaken to be beaten up.

To have your breasts touched,
your body touched.

Then I came to France
at the age of seventeen.

That's when I met my father.

I didn't feel he was somebody
who protected me

or who was happy to see me.

I never heard him say the words
"my daughter” or "my child".

He was violent.

I wished all the worst
on my mother because...

she never knew how to protect me.

I'm with a man and I'm unable
to tell him that I love him.

I miss an achievement in this life.

Something that would be done, laid down,

and also something
that would allow for life...

in this world.
Life in this world.

My father died when I was 9.
So before the age of 9,

when I was little,
I was very playful and very lively.


Obviously, I miss my father a lot.

I have a very precise image of him.

I have a memory
of him playing with me.

I think that I feel
like I miss something.

I miss something, I miss a lot.

How am I to carry on?
How can I...

How will I be able to engage...

with the world which is complicated,

which is not really simple.

You need a lot of resources.

And I feel a bit like a child.

When I look at adults around me...

It sometimes is strange to realise...

Well, I jump from one age to another
and I find myself in another age,

but I don't feel I am of their age.

I just feel that there are parts

of the child...

That child is still here in a way.

He's still here.

Before I somehow looked
for conciliation with my parents.

Now I don't feel the desire anymore
for justification

or forgiveness, or an explanation.

I don't have that desire anymore.

My relationship to the couple
is much more...


It's as if we were confronted
more closely,

ever more closely to our problem.

Which in my mind
is not a negative thing.

I need action, I need change,

I need something new to move on.

I need
to be acknowledged as a woman

in the couple.

I don't know what to do for myself,
for us two, for the couple.

So it is as if...

There is pain from not
knowing what to bring.

We can carry on together
or end the relationship.

And I must admit
that in the last few days,

it crossed my mind
to put an end to the relationship.

Shit family!

Fuck you! Fuck you!

No problem.

I want to give you a present.

My sex.

But I'm on my period.

Does it bother you?

Blood is holy.

has always been rejected by men.

Since biblical times, when Moses said

that a woman on her period
can't enter the temple.

Blood in the vagina

is evil, it's a sin.

An abomination.

So I advise women

to paint their self-portrait
with their period blood.

They don't need to know how to draw.

They need to state the creativity
of their period.

Once they have painted their portrait,

they should varnish it,
put it in a silvered frame

and exhibit it in a place

where those who want to see it
will be able to.

The book that struck me most in my life

is The Dance of Reality.

And since life is magical,

it has allowed me
to meet Alejandro Jodorowsky.

I came to see him

to tell him about an anguish

related to my womanhood.

He proposed to me an act

to add something womanly to my cello.

I was to drop my period blood
on the back of my cello for 9 months.

This act was very strong for me.

The first time I dropped the blood,

a diffused heat
spread across my stomach.

It was truly extraordinary,
extra-ordinary, out of the ordinary.

It was very localised,
I felt an intense heat at my stomach

in front of the traces of blood
which were here.

After 9 months I was to,
at the first concert,

speak to the audience
and clean the back of my cello.

This act...

This act undoubtedly allowed me
to harmonise the manly and the womanly,

to get out of a projection

too tight,
too narrow of this conception.

In the orchestra in which I play,
I have no anguish anymore

related to the fact that being a bass

is associated with the manly

and doesn't allow me to express
my womanliness.

I have set myself free from this anguish.

What is the meaning of life?


The brain asks questions,

the heart gives answers.

Life has no meaning,
you have to live it.




I was engaged to a man.

We were going to get married
8 years ago.

But he died suddenly.

We were at his place.

All of a sudden,
he jumped out of the window.

I was only able to touch his foot.

I was like that, my back to it.

I reacted and caught a part of his leg,

but then it slipped out of my hands.

He practiced parachuting.

He was used to throwing himself
out of a plane.

Every time, before jumping,

while he was up on the plane,
ready to jump, he would tell me,

"Eveline, I love you." And he jumped.

When he jumped out of the window,
he did the same.

He said "I love you" and he jumped.

Then I ran outside to find where he was.

As I could not find him,
I asked for help.

The neighbours started to ring

in the building
which had many apartments.

The police came, the firemen, everyone.

But he was nowhere to be seen.

He was on the balcony
of one of the apartments of a lower floor.

After a certain time,
they told me he was dead.

I felt completely desperate,
I didn't know what was going on.

And when I found out he was dead,
I panicked.

It was a very intense pain.

Despair from...

not knowing what had happened
or why he had done that.

Then I started to feel guilty,

thinking that it was my fault
if he had made that decision.

The only thing I felt was a lot of pain.
I was lost.

We were very much in love.
We had plans for our life together.

We were to spend...
At the beginning, we were to live here.

He wanted us to live in Mexico.

We had plans to have children together.

We had plans
to do things for the future.

And all of that suddenly vanished.

The last hours were awful for me.

I felt really bad, I was very sad.

I had all these feelings

and I've always avoided
to return until...

this opportunity presented itself.

- How long did you stay abroad?
- 8 years.

He died in 2010.

I didn't come back for 8 years.

It must have been around here.
The apartment was one of those.

With the windows open.

It was just like that.

When I went out, I looked for him here.
Where was he?

I couldn't find him.
I thought it was here.

I didn't remember the place well.
Everything was blurred in my head.

I spent the most awful
moments of my life here.

I'm free!

Finally, I did it.

Let's go.

Yes, OK.

I felt that it was the step
I needed to make.


The jump I needed to take
in order to set myself free.

It's not that I forget,
I will always remember that

and the way things happened.

But I don't feel
like I am carrying it as guilt,

and something I was missing
for not having said goodbye.

I now believe I can find something

that would really fill my spirit
and my soul

to carry on and to...

to be happy.

What is your art, Alejandro?

I write poems.

- Do you know one by heart?
- No.

But you are a poet. Improvise!

The being that inhabits me

Consumes itself

Throwing flames from the dream

I'm 46 years old.

Since the age of 6

I've been stuttering.

During my teenage years,

it was a really serious problem.

I could not communicate with...

with people.

My reaction was to...

isolate myself.

There are days...

when I can't...

I can't speak.

So I don't.

There are people
who have cast me aside.

They have pushed me aside because...

they think it's a handicap.

When I am

under high pressure...


I feel like I don't want to be here.

My stomach hurts.

Words don't come out. I can't...


I would like

to speak with more fluidity,

even when I am...

under pressure.

High pressure.

Great pressure.

Put your hand on your heart.

How old are you?

Don't tell me 47,
tell me how old you are inside.

I'm a 12-year-old.

You have the feeling of being 12.

We already have some truth here.

Emotionally, you are a 12-year-old.

Your penis,

is it small, medium-sized, or large?

I think it is medium-sized.

Do you have
a strong sexual experience?

I think that...

I have never been someone

who had a full sexual life.

Because you are a child.

I think


the world, for you,

when you were small,
seemed a thing inimical of sorts.

When I entered middle school,

that is when I began to stutter.

Your stuttering is a nest
in which you feel protected.

Remember what I am telling you now.

I will explain to you why.

When your father cheated on her,

your mother thought of her father.

He loved her, protected her
and didn't despise her.

So for your mother,
sex is no good thing.

And you are forbidden to be a man.

So you begin to stutter

because you want to take the place
of your stuttering grandfather.

And immediately
your mother prefers you.

I'm always treated as if I were...

A child. You are a child.

They see you as unintelligent,
as having the intelligence of a child.

They give you a complex

that nobody loves you

for what you really are.

The man you are is ignored.

Many things you say have a...

That is to say I can see them.

I can see them.

That is to say that I...

I feel them when you say them.

I can see them.


And not so long ago,

it was as if I saw

how others see me.

I feel that it has always been
with a kind of...

kind of pity.

People are thinking
that I am either fragile

or defenceless.

Yesterday you set the child free.

You lived through him fully.

You allowed the child everything.

Now you need
to allow the adult everything.

Set your legs apart a bit.

I will pass along to you,

in this spiritual center,

in this holy center...

I will pass manly energy along to you.

Because I am a fatherly archetype

who stands for the many generations

of men from which you come.


So I'm going to grab your testicles.

That's the energy.

Let it come.

That's the strength

which centuries give you.

That's pure energy,

strong energy,

energy that fills you.

Put your male strength onto your face.

Put your male strength into your mouth.


Say a sentence you know by heart.

Here I am!

Yes, sir.

I accept to be an adult.

I am a 47-year-old.

I can speak very well!

Very well!

Recite the two times table.
Two times two is four...

Two times one is two,
two times two is four...


Two times one is two...

You are healed.

One life is not enough.

And it's necessary to know all lives.

I like bread, I bite into it.

And then I see the wheat.

The precocious wheat fields.

The green form of spring.

I walk, I swim.

I sail up until I find it.

You live, you go and go
from one side to the other.

Even if you don't know, I do know.

And here is the word.

Don't suffer.

The lines have hidden with colour
the thread of the fabric.

I erase the colours and look
until I find the deepest fabric.

When everything is set, I write.

With your life and with mine.

So that you know who I am
and how much I make.

Let me embrace you.

I am a 47-year-old

and I am a man.

Thank you so much.

I missed many possibilities,

things to do for me and for others.

Well... things are that way.

But I can't come to terms with it.

It makes me angry

to reach my age and say "I failed".

I always have the option
of taking pills,


At that point I sleep
and there are no more problems.

That's what I am most afraid of.

Not being resistant enough not to do it.

I failed...

I failed my union with my husband
whom I didn't love.

But instead I married him anyhow.

He was not the right one.

But since he was leaving for Africa,

I married him so that I could leave.

I told myself if I stay here,

my life is all lined-up.

I will be introduced to a good boy,

I'm going to get married,
have children,

and that will be it.

So I disappoint myself.

My life was...

In the evening, hosting a party.
I mean having friends around.

In the afternoon, going to the beach
and playing volleyball,

and bathing in the Wouri,

which is a large river across Cameroon.

And then...

that's all.

That's not much because...

I dreamt of having

an interesting life.

From the outside, it seems interesting.

When I would come back to France,

I would see that my friends
had not moved on.

They had one more child,
but they had not moved.

At least I have suffered.

I moved a bit.

But I don't even know
if that's the right thing to say.

So I have to content myself
with having a beautiful apartment...

with doing things
and reading good books, but...

That's not fair!

That's not fair!

I don't care about the world,
about the migrants.

I don't care about those people.

I couldn't care less.

Let them die!
They'd be better staying home.

You see all the awful words
that come to my mind?

I'm tired.

Alejandro, I'm tired.

I'm tired of living
and being like that, while...

If you look at my life,
everything's great.

My children love me very much,
they are very nice.

But that's not it.

I would need to be able
to do something really bad, you see?

That's what I need, to kill someone
or do something like that.

Because then...

I would see that I exist.

You see how I am performing?

I may cry a bit like that,

but I am still performing.

I'm not that unhappy.

Not at all.

Put your ear to my heart.

Put it, come, come...

Here we are.

Breathe quietly.

Don't feel lonely.

You deserve companionship

and to be taken away
from this depression.


You said you had a little girl
of 4 or 5 years in you, yes?

Let her come, let your little girl come.

You're a little girl, aren't you?

That's it, I didn't grow up,
I remained a little girl.

Yes, accept it.

It's ridiculous.

No, it's not ridiculous, it's human.

Nothing that is human is ridiculous.

Come here, come.

Here you are, come here with me.

It's rather, Alejandro,
that I don't feel like...

I don't feel like making any effort.

It's not an effort.
What you're doing now is not an effort.

No one is asking you
to make an effort.


It's I who ask myself to make efforts.

But you know you aren't on your own.

If you suffer, I suffer.

If you are sick, I am sick.

If you are depressed, I am depressed.

Because every human being is
a part of the other human beings.

- Do you understand?
- Yes, I hear you.

You belong to humankind.

I'm going to tell you
that I don't care about others!

I couldn't care less about others.

Who are the others?

Because it's the will of the galaxy.
It's not the human race.

What is the human race? It's a will.

A will of the universe
that consciousness exists.

And you are a priestess
of consciousness.

You are creating consciousness
in all the persons you have treated.

- That's what you are.
- I'm not sure of that.

You are going to have
to gain self-assurance back.

I'm going to give you
an act of psychomagic.

It won't address your consciousness
but your unconscious.

Yes, Alejandro.

- You want tap water?
- Yes.

Don't drink it, it's to be given away.

- Go and fill it. I'm waiting here.
- Okay.

Here we are.

I don't remember why we're doing this.

I'm going to explain it to you.

In order to get out of
the condition you're in

and in order to be the master you are,
because that's what you are,

you're going to have to start giving.

But what are you going to give
if you don't have an ally?

A powerful ally.

So I'm going to give you your ally.

I don't know
whether it's a man or a woman.

But it's here, waiting for you.

The date has been set
at the Jardin des Plantes.

- One street away from here.
- I go there often.

We're going to walk slowly
and bring this as an offering.


And every day, you will repeat
your offering for 21 days.

And every day you'll get better.

You are going to help humankind.

Even if you don't care about it now.

- Then you will understand everything.
- I don't understand.

So let your unconscious understand.

I'm not giving
a philosophical speech.

I'm to perform an act of psychomagic
to speak to the unconscious.

Not with words.

Psychoanalysis uses words.

Psychomagic uses acts.

We're going to perform
a psychomagic act.

Let's go.


I doubt.

I doubt that what we're doing is right.

Look at this.

It's at least 300-years-old.

Look at the roots.

Come and see.

At first I'm afraid,
I'm afraid of your big roots.

I'm afraid that you... that you...

that you hold me too tightly.

I'm afraid.

But when I look up,
it's fine. I see how beautiful you are.

I have resisted for centuries,
you can resist.

Look high above, this is your friend.

Carry on.

You gave. You know...

This tree is centuries old.

And you are a part of the tree
because you fed it.

Even a minimum, even almost nothing.

Even a small bottle of water.
You feed it.

Therefore now,

it's a part of you.
Look at how powerful you are.

Every day you come to give it water.

It's your protector.

And it's a part of you.

Let's go.

My father...

by giving me nothing

you gave me everything.

By not loving me,

you taught me
the absolute necessity of love.

I really felt that I had
identified very strongly

with my mother.

And with the sadness of my mother.

The disappointment she felt

in her love story with my father.

She loved my father a lot.

My father was the image of something

of a great inventiveness...

of life.

Of laughing, making life truly poetic,
of making life truly lively.

So she adored him but at the same time,
he was very immature.

And it was stronger than him,
he couldn't help

but cheat on her a lot.

Even though he was mad at himself.

He deeply loved my mother

but he couldn't help going everywhere
to see what there was to do.

And so...

So I told myself

I don't want to be like him,
I want to be faithful to my mother.

And being too faithful to my mother,

I cut myself off from a part of me.

I censored myself.

I went to my father, I proposed a song.

At the beginning, it was really bad.

At the beginning, we were...

"What is this music?"

I was so hurt by what he said...

I yelled at him like crazy
for a very long time.

And my father had
the magnificent courage

to take in
all his son's anger like this...

to accept it, to absorb it.

Then I wrote another song
to sing with him.

And this song really changed
everything between us.

In the song I tell him
that he can go wherever he wants

and that we will get together anyhow.

In fact I need...
My father was full of light.

He was flamboyant, like Gérard Philipe.
He had panache.

So I would like to put on this costume.

For me, it symbolises him.

It's golden and beautiful.

Look how [ am

Look how [ live

See my children

Laugh and run

I've travelled so much

Enjoyed losing myself

Seen so many countries

So many women too

Go wherever you want

I'm not waiting for you

People who love each other

Often part ways

You need time

To get together again

Take care of yourself

I am always here

The journey is short

Go as far

As far as you can

Such is the destiny

Of the traveller

My door is open to you

The night is so cold

Come close to me

Come to peace

I am looking for the light

I like its heat

Thank you, my boy

But I already feel

That the road is calling me

Such is the destiny of the traveller

Such is the destiny of the traveller

Go wherever you want

I am not waiting for you

People who love each other

Often part ways

You need time

To get together again

I like fools

I like hats

I like boxers

I like heat

I like

I like

I like cars

I like Arthurs

I like tall women

I like airports

I like your colours

I like your pale skin

I like misty mornings

The Sun and the Moon

I like an icy patch

I like irises

I like highways

I feel...

It's really...

something very very old that got out.

And I feel light.

I feel very light, I'm a new man.

Oh, yeah.

Let's see if all of us, together,
we can heal someone.

We're going to try,
without promising anything,

we're going to try to heal that person.

This year, in April,

I had surgery for a tumour in the larynx.

But this cancer

started when my daughter
was ten months old.

Today she's twenty years old.

It was a thyroid cancer.


a thorax sarcoma.

Remember that it never ends.

We're going to try to cure this person.

We're going to open our arms.

You, as healers, you are going to put

all your energy

towards her throat to heal her.

She's going to feel
she's taken care of.

The experience at Caupolican Theatre...

was very important.

It opened a door

towards my healing.

I was coming out of a very long,
very aggressive treatment.

But when I found myself on stage
with Don Alejandro

and felt that all the people,

with their hands held toward me,

were giving me energy,

it was very powerful, very strong,
very healing.

As time went by,

I felt...

After the theatre,

during the following days,

I felt a lot of energy in me.

I felt joyful.

I laughed about everything.

Something I had lost, the urge to laugh,

with such aggressive treatments.

An immense door opened

towards a healing

which goes beyond what doctors say.

I understood that healing exists,

and I understood that healing comes

from inside.

You are in the country of the North

Sanctified be your new order

Psychomagic against violence!

I don't know
what's happening with the flowers


The flowers

Of the cemetery

I don't know
what's happening with the flowers


The flowers

Of the cemetery

For when the wind cradles them


They look like they are mourning

For when the wind cradles them


They look like they are mourning

Poor me, Mourner

Mourner, you are my little girl

Poor me, Mourner

Mourner, you are my little girl

They are not black sheep.

We must have pity for these souls gone.

We shall sing this song
with much sadness,

as if we were the mothers
of these people.

Long live Mexico!

Long live the change of consciousness!

Long live life!