Monday, April 25, 2011

Reel People: Keira Knightley is Sabina Spielrein

The film is A Dangerous Method, which is directed by David Cronenberg, with a screenplay by Oscar winner Christopher Hampton, based on his own play (The Talking Cure) and the non-fiction book A Most Dangerous Method: The Story of Jung, Freud, and Sabina Spielrein by John Kerr.

Sabina Spielrein

Sabina Spielrein was born in 1885 to a wealthy Jewish family in Rostov, Russia. In 1904, after a series of nervous symptoms, her parents send her Zurich, Switzerland to be treated. There she is treated by Carl Jung with Sigmund Freud's new method, psychoanalysis.

After being released from clinic a year later, she continues to meet with Jung and decides to pursue her own studies in psychoanalysis. During this time she was romantically linked to Carl Jung and a series of correspondences have since been released between Freud and Jung regarding Sabina.

Sabina's doctoral thesis, "A Case of Schizophrenia" is completed by 1911, and she becomes one of the first female psychoanalysis.

Despite being linked to Freud and Jung romantically, she marries Pawel Sheftel, a Jewish Russian doctor in 1912. They have a daughter, Ranata in 1913. She continued to be associated with the Vienna Psychoanalytical Society, and when her husband returned to Russia she remained with Ranata.

While Sabina had many of her own important contributions to the field, she most noted for an early presentation relating to sex drive having an instinct bent on destruction as well as transformation. These ideas are said to have influenced Freud's famous theory of "death drive" as well as Jung's famous theories on "transformation."

Through the early 20s she shifts her focus to child psychology, and returns to Russia to reunite with her husband. In 1923 she even begins a kindergarten in Moscow named "The White Nursery." This would be closed down three years later after claims of sexual perversion on children.

Sabina and her husband Pawel have their second child, Eva, in 1926.

1936, Sabina's life in Russia changes as Stalin prohibits psychoanalysis and also has her brothers, father, and husband deported. They are executed shortly following deportation, during what is commonly called "The Great Terror" or "The Great Purge" in Russia.

In 1942, along with many other Russian Jews, German soldiers kill Sabina and her two daughters.

A Dangerous Method

The film A Dangerous Method occurs prior to WWI, and tells the story and interaction of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Sabina Speilrein.

In addition to Keira Knightley playing Sabina Speilrein, Viggo Mortensen plays the part of Sigmund Freud and Michael Fassbender will play the part of Carl Jung.

Other stars include Vincent Cassel who will portray Otto Gross a young psychologist who studied under Freud, and Sarah Gaddon as Emma Jung, the wife of Carl.

Keira Knighley has received one Oscar nomination (Pride & Prejudice) and a role like this, if the film is well received, makes one wonder if Keira Knighley will score another Oscar nomination or perhaps even a win for her portrayal of this
Reel (Real) Person?


Lorna said...

I didn't know about Sabina Spielrein but I have to admire her. I am very keen on Keira Knightley for many reasons.

Danielle P. said...

If ever I get to have nose surgery sydney, I'll definitely go for the features of Keira Knightley.