A Dangerous Method (2011) - full transcript

Suffering from hysteria, Sabina Spielrein is hospitalized under the care of Dr. Carl Jung who has begun using Dr. Sigmund Freud's talking cure with some of his patients. Spielrain's psychological problems are deeply rooted in her childhood and violent father. She is highly intelligent however and hopes to be a doctor, eventually becoming a psychiatrist in her own right. The married Jung and Spielrein eventually become lovers. Jung and Freud develop an almost father-son relationship with Freud seeing the young Jung as his likely successor as the standard-bearer of his beliefs. A deep rift develops between them when Jung diverges from Freud's belief that while psychoanalysis can reveal the cause of psychological problems it cannot cure the patient.

foodval.com - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
Good morning...

I'm Dr. Jung.

I admitted you yesterday.

I'm not...

I'm not mad, you know.

Let me explain what I have in mind.

I propose that we meet here, most days, to talk for an
hour or two.



Just talk.

See if we can identify what's troubling you.

So as to distract you as little as possible, I'm going to
sit there, behind you.

I'm going to ask you to try not to turn around and look at
me under any circumstances.


Have you any idea what may have brought on these attacks
you suffer from?



Any kind of...


Like, I can't bear to see it and it makes me feel nauseated.

I start pouring with sweat, cold sweat.



my father lost his temper all the time.

He was always angry with me.

When you stopped talking just now, did a thought come into
your head?


I don't know...

Or an image, perhaps.

Was it an image?


What was the image?

It was a hand.



my father's hand.

Why do you think you saw that?

Whenever he would...


whenever he...

he hit us, afterward we...

we had to kiss his hand.

What's odd is that case I was writing up last week,

I happened to pick the codename Sabina S.

And here she is -- Sabina Spielrein.

Quite a coincidence.

As you know, I don't believe there is such a thing.

Spielrein's not a very Russian name.

No, Jewish.

Father's a very successful import-export man.

And she's exceptionally well educated, speaks fluent German.

Aspires to be a doctor herself, apparently.

Perhaps she's the one.

What one?

The one you've been looking for.

For your experimental treatment.

The talking cure.

You're so astute.

I've already begun it with her.

He's kicking.

Can you feel?

Oh, yes.

There he is.

What I don't understand is why Freud,

having proposed this
radical therapeutic idea, this talking cure,

this psychoanalysis, then lets years go by without giving even the barest outline of his clinical procedures?

What's he playing at?

Presumably he uses the method on his patients?

I've no idea.

So might you be the first doctor to try this out?

It's possible.

Why don't you write and ask him?

I don't know him.

As it happens, Miss Spielrein's mother wanted to take her to see Freud.

Another coincidence.

My father thinks my mother doesn't love him.

And he's right, she doesn't.

How do you know?

My angel told me.

What angel?

An inner voice.

He used to tell me I was an exceptional person.

For some reason he always spoke in German.

Angels always speak German -- it's traditional.

He gave me the power to know what people are going to say before they open their mouths.

Useful ability for a doctor.

You hope to be a doctor some day, don't you?

I'll never be a doctor.

Why not?

I have to go away for awhile.

I'm sorry.

We've just gotten started.

Military service.

We all have to do it.

Just for a couple of weeks.

It's a waste of time!

I can't tell you whatever it is you want to know!

You're just...

you're just making me angry.

And even if I could tell you, you'd be sorry you ever--!

Anyway, there's nothing wrong with me!

I don't even want to get better!

Stop it!

Why? I was only trying...

Will you just stop that!

I'm sorry.

Can we get back now?

Yes, if you want to.

I need to get back.

It's a complete waste of my time.

Writing prescriptions for athlete's foot and examining cocks from morning 'til night.

Is that what you do?

It's not good for me.

It's not good for my patients.

You're playing with your food.

I'm not hungry.

Is that so?

I shall have to tell Professor Bleuler.


Do what you like.

Please, Miss, give me your hand.


You'll catch your death.

Miss Spielrein.

The Herr Direktor.

I feel you may have a little too much time on your hands.

I'm a great believer in getting our patients involved in some productive work.

What are your particular interests?


Interplanetary travel.

When Dr. Jung returns,

I shall ask him to discuss all this with you in more detail.

You keep him away from me.

I never want to see him again!

Now, come along.

Don't make such a fuss.

Give me those legs.

Here's the sponge?

Just lie still.

That's better.


I'm back.

How have you been?

I've been talking to the Herr Direktor about finding some
work for you.

I told him you'd always been interested in medicine.

So he suggested you might like to a ssist me occasionally in my research.

We're quite short-staffed so it would certainly be a help to me.























Give way.







Thank you.

Is that all?

That's all.

How did I do?


Good bye.

Yes, good bye.

Any preliminary observations?

Obviously, what's uppermost in her mind is her pregnancy.


And she's a little...

what's the word?

Why don't we try a useful word invented by our Herr
Direktor: "ambivalent.

Yes, about the baby.

Anything else?

I'd say she was worried her husband might be losing
interest in her.

What makes you think that?

Long reaction times to the words "family" and "divorce".

I see.

And when you said "cap," she said "wear".

Might that be a reference to contraception?

You have quite a flair for this.

Can I ask you something?

Of course.

Is she your wife?

I'm sorry.


I promised you a son on Christmas Day.

And here she is a day late and the wrong sex.

Don't be absurd.

'A' for Agathe.

Next time I'll give you a boy.

Can you explain why your nights have been so bad?

I'm afraid.

Of what?

There's something in the room.

Something like...

like a cat, only it can speak.

It gets into bed with me.


last night, it suddenly whispered something in my ear.

I couldn't hear what.

But then...

I felt it against my back.

Something slimy like...

like some kind of a mollusc, moving against my back.

But when I...

when I turned around, there was nothing there.

You felt it against your back?


Were you naked?

I was.

Were you masturbating?


Tell me about the first time you can remember being beaten
by your father.

I suppose I was about four.

I'd broken a plate or...

oh, yes, and...

and he told me to go into the little room and take my
clothes off.

And then...

he came in... and spanked me.

And then...

I was so frightened that I wet myself and then he...

he hit me again.

And then I...

That first time, how did you feel about what was happening?

I liked it.

Would you repeat that, please?

I couldn't quite hear.

I liked it.

It excited me.

And did you continue to like it?



Before long, he only just had to say to me to go to the
little room and I would...

I would start to get wet.

When it came to my brothers or even just threatened that...

that was enough.

I'd have to go down and...

I wanted to lie down and touch myself.

Later, at school, anything would...

set it off, any kind of humiliation.

I looked for any humiliation.

Even here when you hit my coat with your stick.

I had to come back right away, I was so excited.


there's no hope for me.

I'm vile and filthy and corrupt.

I must...

I must never be let out of here.

So good to meet you at long last.

Professor Freud.

You're most welcome.


Perhaps the terms themselves should be reviewed.

If, for instance, we could come up with some milder term
than "libido"

we might not encounter such emotional resistance.

It would make the teaching side of things much easier.

Is euphemism a good idea?

Once they work out what we actually mean, they'll be just
as appalled as ever.

I take your point, but I still think it's worth trying to
sweeten the pill

when it comes to questions of sexuality.

And, by the way, please don't feel you have to restrain
yourself here.

My family are all veterans of the most unsuitable topics
of mealtime conversation.

I have a number of clinical examples which I believe
support my position with regard to sexuality.


And how is your little Russian patient?

As I told you, after the initial abreaction there was the
most dramatic improvement.

We've enrolled her in the medical school at the University
where she's doing extremely well.

She's a walking advertisement for the effectiveness of



It's more logical.

And it sounds better.

If you say so.

Are you still treating her?

Yes, and we continue to unearth new material.

For example, the extraordinary procedure she devised as a
small child,

where she would sit on one heel,

attempt to defecate and at the same time try to prevent herself from defecating.


She said this gave rise to the most blissful feelings.

Nice story.

Those of my patients who remain fixated at the anal stage

of their erotic development often come out with the most amusing details.

And, of course, all of them are finicky,

compulsively tidy, stubborn and extremely stingy with money.

No doubt your Russian conforms to this pattern.

Well, no, she doesn't.

The masochistic aspects of her condition are much more
deeply rooted

than any anal fixations we may have uncovered.

The two are intimately connected.

I can only tell you that she's rather disorganized,
emotionally generous and exceptionally idealistic.

Well, perhaps it's a Russian thing.

Is she a virgin?




Almost certainly.

No, certainly.


I don't think you have any notion of the true strengths
and depths of the opposition to our work.

There's a whole medical establishment, of course, baying
to send Freud to the auto-da-fe.

But that's as nothing compared to what happens when our
ideas begin to trickle through

in whatever garbled form they're relayed to the public.

The denials, the frenzy, the incoherent rage.

But might that not be caused by your insistence on the exclusively sexual interpretation of the clinical material?

All I'm doing is pointing out what experience indicates to
me must be the truth.

And I can assure you that in a hundred years' time, our
work will still be rejected.

Columbus, you know, had no idea what country he'd

Like him, I'm in the dark.

All I know is I've set foot on the shore and the country

I think of you more as Galileo.

And your opponents as those who condemned him, while
refusing even to put their eye to his telescope.

In any event, I have simply opened a door.

It's for the young men like yourself to walk through it.

I'm sure you have many more doors to open for us.

Of course, there's the added difficulty, more ammunition for our enemies,

that all of us here in Vienna, in our psychoanalytical circle, are Jews.

I don't see what difference that makes.

That, if I may say so, is an exquisitely Protestant remark.

I dreamed...

I dreamed about a horse being hoisted by cables to a
considerable height.

Suddenly, a cable breaks and the horse is dashed to the

But it's not hurt.

It leaps up and gallops away, impeded only by a heavy log,
which it's obliged to drag along the ground.

Then a rider on a small horse appears in front of it so
that it's forced to slow down.

And a carriage appears in front of the small horse so that
our horse is compelled to slow down even more.

I imagine the horse is yourself.


Your ambition has been frustrated in some way.

The rider slowing me down.


I think this may refer to my wife's first pregnancy.

I had to give up an opportunity to go to America because
of it.


The carriage in front perhaps alludes to an apprehension that our two daughters,

and other children perhaps still to come, will impede my progress even more.

As a father of six, I can vouch for that.

Not to mention the inevitable financial difficulties.


Fortunately, my wife is extremely wealthy.



That is fortunate.

This log...


I think, perhaps, you should entertain the possibility
that it represents the penis.


In which case what may be at issue is that a certain
sexual constraint

has been brought about by a fear of a succession of endless pregnancies.

I'm bound to say that if one of my patients had brought me
this dream

I might have said that the number of restraining elements surrounding this unfortunate horse

could perhaps point to the determined suppression of some unruly sexual desire.


There is that as well.

I wonder if you're aware of the fact that our conversation
has so far lasted 13 hours?

I'm so sorry.

I had no idea.

My dear young colleague, please don't apologize.

It was our first meeting, we had a great deal to say to
one another.

And unless I'm much mistaken, we always will.

I shall have to be extremely careful.

What do you mean?


He's so persuasive, he's so convincing.

He makes you feel you should abandon your own ideas and
simply follow in his wake.

His followers in Vienna are all deeply unimpressive.

A crowd of Bohemians and degenerates just picking up the
crumbs from his table.

Well, perhaps he's reached the stage where obedience is
more important to him than originality.


I tried to tackle him about his obsession with sexuality,

his insistence on interpreting every symptom in sexual terms.

But he's completely inflexible.

In my case, of course he'd have been right.

Yes, as you would expect him to be in many cases.

Possibly even the majority of cases.

But there must be more than one hinge into the universe.

Do you like Wagner?

The music and the man, yes.

I'm very interested in the myth of Siegfried.

The idea that something pure and heroic can come --
can perhaps only come -- from a sin, even a sin as dark as incest.

This is very strange.


As I've told you, I don't believe in coincidence.

I believe nothing happens by accident.

All these things have significance.

The fact is I'm in the middle of writing something myself
about the Siegfried myth.

Are you really?

Iassure you.

Which is your favourite of the operas?

Das Rheingold.

Yes, that's right.

Mine too.

Can I ask you something?

Of course.

Do you think there's any possibility I could ever be a

I know you could.

I hear nothing but good reports on your work at the

You're exactly the kind of person we need.

Insane, you mean?


We sane doctors have serious limitations.

"Dear Friend, I feel I can, at last, permit myself this
informal mode of address as I ask you to grant me a very particular favour.

Dr. Otto Gross, a most brilliant but erratic character, is
urgently in need of your medical help.

I consider him, apart from yourself, the only man capable
of making a major contribution to our field.

Whatever you do, don't let him out before October when I
shall be able to take him over from you.

And remember his father's warning, made when Otto was only
a very small child: watch out for him, he bites.

You still feel threatened by your father?

Anyone with any sense feels threatened by my father.

He is extremely threatening.

His wish to have you hospitalized, you don't think that
arises from a concern for your welfare?

Listen, what does any normal old patriarch want in the
twilight of his life?

Grandchildren, grandsons, am I right?

And yet, last summer, when I presented him with not one, but two little Grosses,
one by my wife, one by one of my most respectable mistresses, was he grateful?

And now that there's another one on the way, admittedly by
some woman I hardly know, he's apoplectic.

And all he can think is to get me banged away in some

You got any children?

Two girls.

Same mother?


So you're not a believer in monogamy?

For a neurotic like myself, I can't possibly imagine a
more stressful concept.

And you don't find it necessary or desirable to exercise some
restraint as a contribution, say, to the smooth functioning of civilization.

What, and make myself ill?

I should have thought that some form of sexual repression
would have to be practised in any rational society.

No wonder the hospitals are bulging at the seams.

Tell me, do you find the best way to enhance your popularity
with your patients is to tell them whatever it is they most want to hear?

What does it matter whether we're popular with them or not?

Well, I don't know.

Suppose you want to fuck them?

If there is one thing I've learned in my short life it's
this: never repress anything.

So you've never slept with any of your patients?

Of course not.

I have to steer through the temptations of transference
and counter-transference and that's an essential stage of the process.

When transference occurs, when the patient becomes fixated on me,
I explain to her that this is merely a symbol of her wretched monogamous habits.

I assure her that it's fine to want to sleep with me, but only if, at the same time,
she acknowledges to herself that she wants to sleep with a great many other people.

Suppose she doesn't?

Then it's my job to convince her that's part of the illness.

That's what people are like.

If we don't tell them the truth, who will?

You think Freud's right?

You think all neurosis is of exclusively sexual origin?

I think Freud's obsession with sex probably has a great
deal to do with the fact that he never gets any.

You could be right.

It seems to me a measure of the true perversity of the human race, that one of its
very few reliably pleasurable activities should be the subject of so much hysteria and

But not to repress yourself is to unleash all kinds of
dangerous and destructive forces.

Our job is to make our patients capable of freedom.

I've heard it said that you helped one of your patients to
kill herself.

She was resolutely suicidal.

I just explained how she could do it without botching it.

Then I asked her if she didn't prefer the idea of becoming
my lover.

She opted for both.

That can't be what we want for our patients.

Freedom is freedom.

I've been thinking about Wagner's opera.

In it, he says that perfection can only be arrived
at through what is conventionally thought of as sin, is that right?

Which must surely have to do with the energy created by
the friction of opposites.

Not just that you're the doctor and I'm the patient, but
that you're Swiss and I'm Russian.

I'm Jewish and you're Aryan and all other kinds of darker


If I'm right, only the clash of destructive forces can
create something new.

When my father brought me to you, I was very ill and my
illness was sexual.

It's clear that the subject I'm studying is entirely
grounded in sexuality.

So, naturally, I'm becoming more and more acutely aware of
the fact that I have no sexual experience.

Law students are not normally expected to rob banks.

It's generally thought to be the man who should take the

Don't you think there's something male in every woman?

And something female in every man?

Or should be?


I expect you're right, yes.

If you ever want to take the initiative, I live in that
building there, where the bay window is.

I can't understand what you're waiting for.

Just take her to some secluded spot and thrash her to
within an inch of her life.

That's clearly what she wants.

How can you deny her such a simple pleasure?

Pleasure is never simple, as you very well know.

It is.

Of course it is.

Until we decide to complicate it.

What my father calls maturity.

What I call surrender.

Surrender, for me, would be to give in to these urges.

Then surrender.

It doesn't matter what you call it as long as you don't
let the experience escape.

That's my prescription.

I'm supposed to be treating you.

And it's been most effective.

I'd say the analysis was not too far from

Mine, yes.

Not so sure about yours.

I've been spending so much time with him, I'm afraid I've
been neglecting some of my other patients.

He's immensely seductive, quite sure he's right and
obsessionally neurotic.

Pretty dangerous, in fact.

Do you mean you doubt your powers to convince him?

Worse than that.

What I'm afraid of is his power to convince me.

On the subject of monogamy, for example, why should we put
so much frantic effort into suppressing our most basic natural instincts?

I don't know.

You tell me.

Thank you.

I really needed that.

"Dr. Jung, rest assured that thanks to you, I am alive and

But please be so good as to tell my father that I am dead.

And whatever you do, do not pass by the oasis without
stopping to drink.


Who is it?

A friend.

Come inside.

It's so beautiful.

I feel as though we've always lived here.

They say we'll be able to move in by the end of the week.

I'm sorry to be like this again.

What do you mean?

So big and unattractive.

Don't be absurd.

I expect you wish you were a polygamist, like Otto Gross.

If I were, it would be something quite different than what
we have, which is sacred.

I would have to be sure you understood that.

I wouldn't want to know anything about it.

I have a surprise for you.

The boat you always wanted with red sails.

Thank you.

Thank you for all of this.

You're a good man.

You deserve everything that's good.

If I say something, will you promise not to take it the
wrong way?


Don't you think we ought to stop...


I'm married.

Obviously, I'm being deceitful.

Is it right for us to perpetuate this deceit?

Do you want to stop?

Of course I don't.

When you make love to your wife, how is it?

Describe it to me.

When you live under the same roof with someone, it becomes

You know, it's always very tender.

Then this is another thing.

Another thing in another country.

With me, I want you to be ferocious.

I want you to punish me.

I knew it was a boy this time.

I told you.

I believed you.

Will you come back to us now?


I should never have sent Doctor Gross to you.

I blame myself.

No, I'm very grateful you did.

All those provocative discussions helped crystallize a lot
of my thinking.


Did he really send you his hotel bill?

Only for a couple of nights.

He's an addict.

I can see that now.

He can only end by doing great harm to our movement.

You realize this makes you undisputed Crown Prince, don't

My son and heir?

I'm not sure I deserve such an accolade.

Don't say another word.

I often take my walk up here.

It's inspired some of my best ideas.

You mustn't think I have a closed mind.

I have absolutely no objection to your studying telepathy
or parapsychology to your heart's content.

But I would make the point that our own field is so embattled
that it can only be dangerous to stray into any kind of mysticism.

Don't you see?

We have to stay within the most rigorously scientific

Are you all right?

Yes, but I can't agree with you.

Why should we draw some arbitrary line and rule out whole
areas of investigation?

Precisely because the world is full of enemies looking for
any way they can to discredit us.

And the moment they see us abandon the firm ground of sexual
theory to wallow in the black mud of superstition they will pounce.

As far as I'm concerned, even to raise these subjects is
professional suicide.

I knew that was going to happen!


I felt something like that was going to happen.

I had a kind of burning in my stomach.

What are you talking about?

It's the heating.

The wood in the bookcase just cracked, that's all.


It's what's known as a catalytic exteriorization phenomenon.

A what?

A catalytic exteriorization phenomenon.

Don't be ridiculous.

My diaphragm started to glow red hot.

And another thing -- it's going to happen again.


In a minute, it's going to happen again.

My dear young friend, this is exactly the kind of thing
I'm talking about.

You see?

That's just...

you really can't be serious.

There are so many mysteries, so much further to go.


We can't be too careful.

We can't afford to wander into these speculative areas.

Telepathy, singing bookcases, fairies at the bottom of the

It won't do.

It won't do.

There's a poem by Lermontov keeps going round my head about a prisoner
who finally achieves some happiness when he succeeds in releasing a bird from its cage.

Why do you think this is preoccupying you?

I think it means that when I become a doctor what I want
more than anything is to give people back their freedom...

the way you gave me mine.


That's enough now.

There we go.


Come along, my dear.

All the standard symptoms of the nymphomaniac.


Except that whenever anyone responded to her advances, she
would run a mile.

That's the puzzling feature of the case.


I must say it's a great pleasure to see you in your
natural habitat.

There's a rumour running around Vienna that you've taken
one of your patients as a mistress.

It's absolutely untrue.

Well, of course it is.

So I've been telling everyone.

What's being said?

Oh, I don't know.

That the woman's been bragging about it.

That somebody is sending out anonymous letters.

The usual sort of thing.

Bound to happen sooner or later.

It's an occupational hazard.


I hope I'd never be stupid enough to get emotionally
involved with a patient.

I'm confused.

I feel trapped.

I've trapped myself into feeling divided, guilty.

I've never wanted you to feel guilty.

I don't see how we can go on.

You mustn't say that.

I have some kind of illness.

Try to remember the love and patience I showed towards you
when you were ill.

That's what I need from you now.

Of course.

You have it always.

Oh, please don't go.

I must.

I have to.


I have to.


I have to!

I can't say I'm sorry to say goodbye to him.

Not the easiest houseguest we've ever had.


I don't think he ever recovered from the first view of the

Still, I suppose compared to that tiny flat in Vienna...

Why did he refuse to meet the Herr Direktor?

Oh, he's always been a great one for bearing
incomprehensible grudges.

Did he say anything to you about anonymous letters?

Surely you didn't think I'd let you go without putting up
a fight?

Fraulein Spielrein!

Why are you doing this?

Please sit down.

And how could you treat me this way?

Sit down.

I tried to explain the situation to your mother.

I don't know how you dared say those things to her.

She came in waving an anonymous letter demanding to know
if it was true.

I told her even if it were, the position would not be
quite as she imagined, since you're no longer my patient.

Of course I'm your patient.

Technically not.

Not since I stopped charging you.

That's what she said.

I told her I didn't believe her and she told me you said
your fee was 20 francs a consultation.

I was trying to make the point that I would take you back
as a patient but that I could only undertake to see you inside this office.

How can you be so cold and offhand?

I was trying to make her understand the distinction
between a patient and a friend.

Listen... I've made a stupid mistake.

Is that what it was?

I broke one of the elementary rules of my profession.

I'm your doctor and I believe I did you some good.

I can't forgive myself for overstepping the mark.

I should have known that if I gave you what you wanted you
wouldn't be able to help wanting more.

I don't want more.

And I never wanted more.

I never asked for more.

You didn't have to ask.

And even if you're right, which I dispute, do you think
this is a proper way to behave towards me?

Refusing to speak to me except in your office?

I'm your physician.

From now on, that's all I can be.

Don't you love me anymore?

Only as your physician.

You think I'm going to stand for this?

What choice do you have?

And there's your 20 francs.

"Dear Professor Freud, I would be most grateful if you would allow
me to come and visit you in Vienna on a matter of great interest to us both.

"Dear Friend, I have just received this extremely strange

Do you know this woman?

Who is she?

"As you will not doubt recall, Spielrein was the case that brought you and me together,
for which reason I've always regarded her with special gratitude and affection...

until I understood that she was systematically planning my

Now I have no idea what her intentions may be.

Revenge, I suspect.

I have never shown such friendship to a patient.

Nor have I ever been made to suffer so much in return.

I am hoping you will agree to act as a kind of go-between
and avert a disaster.

Your famous saying is carved in block letters on my
heart-- ‘Whatever you do, give up any idea of trying to cure them.

"Experiences like this, however painful, are necessary and

Without them, how can we know life?

"Dear Miss Spielrein, Dr.

Jung is a good friend and colleague of mine whom I believe
to be incapable of frivolous or shabby behaviour.

What I infer from your letter is that you used to be close
friends, but are no longer so.

If this is the case I would urge you to consider whether the feelings that have survived this close friendship
are not best suppressed and forgotten and without the
intervention and involvement of third persons such as


Fraulein Spielrein.

What is it?

I heard you were leaving the hospital.

As you see.

People are saying it's because of the scandal I caused.

I'd been planning to leave anyway.

Well, I'm sorry if... I precipitated it.

You've always been something of a catalyst.

I've had a letter from Professor Freud.

Oh, yes?

The thing that shone through was how much he loves you.

But... what was also clear is that you denied everything.

You let him think I was a fantasist or a liar.

I don't see that it's any of his business.

I've come here to ask you to tell the truth.


I want you to write to him and tell him everything.

And then I want him to write to me again to confirm that
you've told him everything.

Are you blackmailing me?

I'm asking you to tell the truth.

Why is this so important to you?

I want him to take me as his patient.

Does it have to be him?

It has to be him.

You don't feel the same way about him, do you?

I'm disappointed by his rigid pragmatism, his insistence that nothing can
possibly exist unless some puny or transitory intelligence has first become aware of it.

All the same, will you write to him?

I could have damaged you, you know?

Far worse than I did.

I chose not to.

All right.

I'll do it.

Thank you.

It means everything to me.

Are you going somewhere for the summer?

Berlin with my parents.

But you are going to come back to the university to qualify?

Of course.

I'm going to America with Freud, although he doesn't yet
know it.

That's nice.

Good bye.

"...in view of my friendship for the patient and her
complete trust in me, what I did was indefensible.

I confess this, very unhappily, to you, my father-figure...


"Dear Miss Spielrein, I owe you an apology.

But the fact that I was wrong and that the man is to
be blamed rather than the woman satisfies my own need to revere women.

Please accept my admiration for the very dignified way in
which you have resolved this conflict.

Do we have all the necessary paperwork, Ferenczi?

I have everything, Professor.



I've always been in two minds about America.

Maybe we made a foolish error.

Do they really want us there?

They postponed the Congress for two months so that you
could attend.

Surely that gives you some indication.



I think it's going to be a great adventure.


I hope you're right.

I go this way.

What do you mean?

I left my wife to make the arrangements.

I'm afraid she's booked me a first-class state room.

I see.

I was on the Swiss-Austrian border somewhere in the
mountains at dusk.

There was a long wait because everybody's baggage was
being searched.

I noticed a decrepit customs official wearing the old
royal and imperial uniform.

And I was watching him walking up and down with his melancholy
and disgruntled expression, when someone said to me, "He isn't really there.

He's a ghost who still hasn't found out how to die properly.

Is that the whole dream?

All I can remember.

Did you say the Swiss-Austrian border?


Must have something to do with us.

You think so?

Everybody's being searched.


Perhaps that's an indication that the ideas which used to
flow so freely between us are now subject to a most suspicious examination.

You mean the ideas flowing in your direction.

And I'm afraid the old relic shuffling about in this
entirely useless fashion must almost certainly be me.

Wait a minute.

Whom you very mercifully wish could be put out of his

A humane death wish.

Perhaps the fact that he was unable to die simply
indicated the immortality of his ideas.



So you agree it must have been me?

I didn't say that.


Never mind.

It's a most entertaining example.

What about you?

Do you have a dream to report?

I had a most elaborate dream last night.

Particularly rich.

Well, let's hear it.

I'd love to tell you but I don't think I should.

Why ever not?

I wouldn't want to risk my authority.

Take it from me, what you're looking at is the future.

You think they know we're on our way, bringing them the

Fraulein Spielrein.

Whose idea was it for you to send me your dissertation?

The Herr Direktor.

Yes, of course.

He kept insisting this was the kind of material you were
looking for for your Yearbook.

It certainly is a very fascinating case you've chosen to

But if we're to consider it for the Yearbook, there are
one or two mistakes which will have to be dealt with.

Of course.

Might you have a little time to discuss all this?


When I left the hospital and moved out here I was afraid it
would take years to build up a roster of patients but I'm already under siege.

Anyway, I don't see why a little more work won't make your
dissertation eminently publishable.

Do you think we'd be able to work on it together without...?

It's always going to be something of a risk, us seeing one


But I believe we have the character to be able to deal
with the situation, don't you?

I hope so.

I somehow imagined you'd have found another admirer by now.


You were the jewel of great price.

Shall we say this time next Tuesday?

And I'll start gently ripping you to shreds.

Explain this analogy you make between the sex instinct and
the death instinct.

Professor Freud claims that the sexual drive arises from a
simple urge towards pleasure.

If he's right, the question is why is this urge so often
successfully repressed?

You used to have a theory involving the impulse towards
destruction and self-destruction, losing oneself.

Well, suppose we think of sexuality as fusion -- losing oneself, as you say,
but losing oneself in the other -- in other words, destroying one's own individuality.

Wouldn't the ego, in self-defence, automatically resist
that impulse?

You mean for selfish not for social reasons?


I'm saying that perhaps true sexuality demands the
destruction of the ego.

In other words, the opposite of what Freud proposes.

When I graduate, I've decided to leave Zurich.

I have to.


You know why.

It's true.

I'm nothing but a philistine Swiss bourgeois complacent

I want to leave everything, break away and disappear with

Then comes the voice of the philistine.

Where will you go?

Vienna, maybe.

Please don't go there.

I must go wherever I need to feel free.


You know your paper...

led to one of the most stimulating discussions we've ever
had at the Psychoanalytic Society.

Do you really think the sexual drive is a demonic and
destructive force?

Yes, at the same time as being a creative force, in the sense
that it can produce, out of the destruction of two individualities, a new being.

But the individual must always overcome resistance because
of the self-annihilating nature of the sexual act.


I've fought against the idea for some time, but I suppose
there must be some kind of indissoluble link between sex and death.

I don't feel the relationship between the two is quite the way you have portrayed it,
but I'm most grateful to you for animating the subject in such a stimulating way.

The only slight shock was your introduction, at the very
end of your paper, of the name of Christ.

Are you completely opposed to any kind of religious
dimension in our field?

In general, I don't care if a man believes in Rama,
Marx or Aphrodite, as long as he keeps it out of the consulting room.

Is that what's at the bottom of your dispute with Dr.


I have no dispute with Dr.


I was simply mistaken about him.

I thought he was going to be able to carry our work
forward after I was gone.

I didn't bargain for all that second-rate mysticism and
self-aggrandising shamanism.

Nor did I realize he could be so brutal and sanctimonious.

He's trying to find some way forward so that we don't
just have to tell our patients, "This is why you are the way you are.

" He wants to be able to say, "We can show you what it is
you might want to become.

Playing God, in other words.

We have no right to do that.

The world is as it is.

Understanding and accepting that is the way to psychic

What good can we do if our aim is simply to replace one
delusion with another?

Well, I agree with you.


I've noticed that in the crucial areas of dispute between

Jung and myself, you tend to favour me.

I thought you had no dispute with him.


You still love him.

That's not why I'm pleading his cause.

I just feel that if you two don't find some way to co-exist,
it will hold back the progress of psychoanalysis, perhaps indefinitely.

Is there no way to avert a rupture?

Correct scientific relations will be maintained, of course.

I'll be seeing him at the editorial meeting in Munich in
September and I shall be perfectly civil.

To tell you the truth, what finished him for me was all
that business about you.

The lies, the ruthless behaviour.

I was very shocked.

I think he loved me.

I'm afraid your idea of a mystical union with a blond
Siegfried was inevitably doomed.

Put not your trust in Aryans.

We're Jews, my dear Miss Spielrein, and Jews we will
always be.

Now, the real reason I invited you here this evening
was to ask if you'd be prepared to take on one or two of my patients?

I was interested in what you said about monotheism
-- that it arose historically out of some kind of patricidal impulse.


Akhnaton, who, as far as we know, was the first to put
forth the bizarre notion that there was only one God.

Also had his father's name erased and chiselled out of all
public monuments.

That's not strictly true.

Not true?


You mean it was most probably a myth?


I mean there were two perfectly straightforward reasons for Akhnaton,
or Amenhopis IV as I prefer to call him, to excise his father's name from the cartouches.

First, this was something traditionally done by all new kings
who didn't wish their father's name to continue to be public currency.

In much the same way as your article in the Yearbook fails
to mention my name?

Your name is so well-known it hardly seemed necessary to
mention it.

Do go on.

Secondly, Amenhopis only struck out the first half of his father's name, Amenhotep, because,
like the first half of his own name, it was shared by Amon, one of the gods he
was determined to eliminate.


As simple as that?

The explanation doesn't seem to me unduly simple.

And do you think your man, whatever you call him, felt no
hostility whatsoever toward his father?

I have no means of proof, of course.

For all I know, Amenhopis may have thought that his father's name
was quite familiar enough and that now it might be time to make a name for himself.

How sweet it must be to die.

"If I may say so, dear Professor, you make the mistake of
treating your friends like patients.

This enables you to reduce them to the level of children, so that their
only choice is to become obsequious nonentities or bullying enforcers of the party line...

while you sit on the mountaintop, the infallible father-figure and nobody dares to pluck
you by the beard and say, ‘Think about your behaviour and then decide which
one of us is the neurotic.

I speak as a friend.


"Your letter cannot be answered.

Your claim that I treat my friends like patients is
self-evidently untrue.

As to which of us is the neurotic, I thought we analysts
were agreed a little neurosis was nothing whatever to be ashamed of.

But a man like you, who behaves quite abnormally and then stands there shouting
at the top of his voice how normal he is does give considerable cause for concern.

For a long time now our relationship has been hanging by a

And a thread, moreover, mostly consisting of past

We have nothing to lose by cutting it.

"You will be the best judge of what this moment means to

The rest is silence.

So good to have met you at last, Dr. Spielrein.

We did meet once before when I was your husband's patient.

I think you're right.

Your children are glorious.

Thank you.

You must let us know when yours arrives.

I expect you want a boy.


No, my husband and I both think we would prefer a girl.


I wish you could help him.


What's the matter?

He's not himself.

He's very confused and bogged down with his book.

He's not sleeping.

He's not taking on any new patients.

He still hasn't recovered from the violence of his break
with Professor Freud.

What you're describing is very unlike my memory of him.

If you were staying in town, I'd try to persuade him to
let you analyze him.

I know he always set great store by your opinion.

You are taking patients now?

I've pretty much decided to specialize in child psychology.

I'm not sure if it's a field he approves of.

I haven't discussed it with him but...

You better go and talk to him.

No one can help him more than you.

I hope you're right.

Your children are beautiful.

So you're married.


He's a doctor?


His name is Pavel Scheftel.


Yes, a Russian Jew.

What's he like?


Good, good.

Are you all right?


I haven't been sleeping very well and I keep having this
apocalyptic dream.

A terrible flood from the North Sea to the Alps.

Houses washed away.

Thousands of floating corpses.

Eventually it comes crashing into the lake in a great
tidal wave.

And by this time, the water, roaring down like some vast
avalanche, has turned to blood.

The blood of Europe.

What do you think it means?

I've no idea.

Unless it's about to happen.

What are your plans?

We've been thinking of going back to Russia.

As long as you leave Vienna.

I spoke to him last week.

I can't believe there's nothing to be done.

There's nothing to be done.

The day he refused to discuss a dream with me on
the grounds that it might risk his authority, I should have known.

After that, for me, he had no authority.

It was a blow when I discovered you'd chosen his side.

It's not a question of sides.

I have to work in the direction my instinct tells my
intelligence is the right one.

Don't forget, you cured me with his method.

What he'll never accept is that what we understand has got
us nowhere.

We have to go into uncharted territory.

We have to go back to the sources of everything we believe.

I don't want to just open a door and show the patient his
illness squatting there like a toad.

I want to try and find a way to help the patient reinvent

To send him off on a journey at the end of which is
waiting the person he was always intended to be.

It's no good making yourself ill in the process.

Only the wounded physician can hope to heal.

I'm told you have a new mistress.

Is that right?

What's her name?


Is she like me?


She's an ex-patient?



Half Jewish.

Training to be an analyst?


But she's not like me?

Of course she makes me think of you.

How do you make it work?

I don't know.

Emma, as you've seen, is the foundation of my house.

Toni is the perfume in the air.

My love for you was the most important thing in my life.

For better or worse, made me understand who I am.

This should be mine.


Sometimes you have to do something unforgivable just to be
able to go on living.