Yalom's Cure - Film Review

A review by Rachel Flanagan.

Irvin D. Yalom is a world-famous psychiatrist, a prolific author, a speaker on psychotherapy and existentialism, and one of the most influential psychotherapists in the United States.  His first book, The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy is considered one of the most definitive texts on the topic of psychotherapy having sold hundreds of thousands of copies. He has a handful of teaching novels and creative non-fiction stories; Irvin D. Yalom has inspired millions to understand and accept their faults and to fall in love with the practice of psychotherapy. Sabine Gisiger's, Yalom's Cure, is an intimate look at the life of Irvin D. Yalom told through his own words and those who know him best, his family.

Yalom's Cure will not introduce those who are unfamiliar with the work of Yalom but for those the vast population of shrinks, patients, and others familiar with his work will find this biography an enjoyable one getting to spend time with him and his family. In a relaxed and deep voice, Yalom guides us through his relationships with his mother and father, recalls his aspirations of pairing psychoanalysis with literary techniques, and his discovery on the benefits of group therapy to both the terminally ill and the healthy. A majority of the film focuses on Yalom as a teenager trying to woo his future wife Marilyn.  They both recount how their successful marriage cast an unfortunate shadow over the marriages of their children, whose marriages were the opposite of their parents' nuptials ending in divorce.  Their children reveal how one of the secrets to a successful marriage seemed to be putting their marriage first over their children.  Yet, fans of Yalom get to see the person he is outside of his successes as one of his grandchildren recalls the fun he has with his grandfather who is not a successful psychotherapist at home but just his fun loving grandfather.

Yalom's guides the audience through the fear and terror of death and the pain and loneliness of life.  He speaks of how these fears are universal to everyone and how we need to face these fears in order to make peace with life and we learn that Yalom himself has seems to have conquered these fears in order to make peace with himself.  Sabine Gisiger's, Yalom's Cure, offers a fascinating dichotomy between Yaloms' professional image and his private life.  For those familiar with his work, they may find this film a sense of psychoanalysis through cinema and find themselves looking deeper into themselves yearning for answers to our own existential uncertainties.  For those unfamiliar with the Irvin D. Yalom, they may find themselves on a journey to discover who he is and perhaps, look into picking up a book or two to create their own excursion through existentialism and psychotherapy.

Director - Sabine Gisiger
Run Time - 74 minutes
Language - English
Format - Digital (DCP & Blu-ray)
Year - 2014
Genre - Documentary

First Run Features Presents the US Premiere of the New Documentary

at the Laemmle Theaters in Los Angeles on March 11, 2016
Released thru Amazon in June 2016


Posted By Rachel Flanagan on March 30, 2016 05:02 pm | Permalink