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When Nietzsche Wept
When Nietzsche Wept
Actors: Armand Assante, Andreas Beckett, Ben Cross, Jamie Elman, Ayana Haviv
Director: Pinchas Perry
Genres: Drama
PG-13     2007     1hr 45min

Based on the bestselling, award-winning novel by Irvin Yalom, "When Nietzsche Wept" tells the story of obsession, a drama of love, fate and will that formed the basis of modern psychoanalysis. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Armand Assante, Andreas Beckett, Ben Cross, Jamie Elman, Ayana Haviv
Director: Pinchas Perry
Creators: Georgi Nikolov, Pinchas Perry, Avi Lerner, Boaz Davidson, Danny Dimbort, John Thompson, Kristina Nikolova, Trevor Short, Irvin D. Yalom
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Drama
Studio: First Look Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 12/04/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 45min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish

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Movie Reviews

The psychoanalysis of nostalgia
Luca Graziuso | NYC | 01/19/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)

"When Nietzsche Wept is a fun little movie, but not much more. The academic mind may gather interesting tidbits of allusive material, anecdotes that qualify in flesh a mode and a period, but little else in terms of insight or theoretical enlightenment. It is unfair to ask of so much from a movie, but there have been gems which have accomplished much more without pretending half as much, which is the main reason for my two stars. There are dream sequences that skirt the parodic while insinuating to be reminiscent strains of a therapeutic groundwork, but these are really a far cry from being of any import to anything but excessively reductive commonplace assumptions popo culture has already adopted grand scale. The passion of Nietzsche is depicted with emotional farce, but the actor here cannot do justice to the gentle genius that trumpeted the death of God, a death knell poeticized and antagonized by a secularism in disguise and denial. Whatever the merits of Nietzsche may have been, the shortcomings the movie's depiction of Viennese physician Dr. Josef Breuer are extensive and irresponsible, if one wishes to here locate historical accurancy rather than artistic liberty. Infact Dr. Breuer is a man so comical and absurd here we end up pitying a mind who should command reverence and applause. I do not know why this motion picture ends up ridiculing, even mocking a man who has had so much influence on contemporary culture. It is really disturbing to see a legacy so belittled and denigrated. Perhaps I am being too rough on the script, and I must also here note that I have not read the novel by Irvin D. Yalom, who also has written a cute paraphrase on Shopenhauer.
Any vigor that may result from a revival of women who have influenced the course of history, yet had no claim in our paternalistic, phallocentric historical narrative, are debunked by its crass infusion of hysteria ironically presented without enough sensibility or attention to Bertha, who needless to say, deserves better treatment. Lou Salome is perhaps a positive presence in the movie, but she is also rendered without a modicum of wit or grace, and only her strength of character and presence of mind are evoked somewhat satisfactorily. Finaly the young Freud is but an aside and we are never offered an opportunity to understand his musings on the "talking cure" even slantwise.
Finally the filmography, the editing and the presentation of the philosophy of Nietzsche are so reductive one comes out of this viewing hoping these fools had better sense than its director.
It doesn't make you think and it doesn't make you question. Does it entertain? That depends on your taste, but if you enjoy zany productions you may come out of this with a laugh or two, otherwise any Hollywood movie has more to offer.
The Birth of Psychoanalysis: Friedrich Nietzsche, Dr Josef B
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 12/11/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"WHEN NIETZSCHE WEPT gives us an insight into the beginnings of Psychology and particularly the Treatment of Talking as begun not by Sigmund Freud, but instead by the brilliant yet troubled mind of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and the Viennese physician Dr. Josef Breuer. Pinchas Perry adapted the novel by the same name by Irvin D. Yalom and also directs this period piece. The film works on many levels: the flavor of the period is well captured (though Vienna in the film is Bulgarian locations!), the ideas are fresh to some, and the pacing and use of moments of fine classical music tidbits add flavor. If only more attention had been paid to the theories discussed...

1872 is the time and two men are haunted by demons, and the 'demons' happen to be failed love affairs with famous women. Dr. Josef Breuer (Ben Cross) is a famous physician but is obsessed with an hysterical young woman Bertha (Michal Yannai). Another beautiful lady enters Breuer's world in the form of Lou Salome (Katheryn Winnick) who has had a brief affair with the philosopher Nietzsche (Arman Assante) and feels he needs Breuer's help with his 'Talk Therapy'. The two men meet, share fears, and agree to a mutually beneficial relationship: Breuer will help Nietzsche with his migraines (due to his obsession with Lou Salome) and Nietzsche will share his philosophical approach to the world to help Breuer with is recurring nightmares. The resulting experience is an introduction to psychoanalysis as a treatment, a treatment that fascinates the young Freud (Jamie Elman).

The action is a bit heavy on the dream and surreal sequences instead of being a learned exploration of a very important period of history. The quality of acting is variable: Assante seems the only one to wholly grasp his role as Nietzsche. The film has many flaws but in the end it is an interesting introduction to the history of an important movement in medicine. It takes patience to watch but it is well worth the viewer's time. Grady Harp, December 07
The Birth of Psychoanalysis and Freedom
Brenan Nierman | United States of America | 12/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Many people associate the birth of psychoanalysis with Sigmund Freud; and to be sure, Freud was indeed the master to whom we owe this technique. But what is not known is the degree to which Freud was indebted to the greatest philosopher, not only in the nineteenth century, but in the whole of human history, Friedrich Nietzsche.
This film is based on Irvin Yalom's excellent book of the same title (which I also recommend, along with Dr. Yalom's THE SCHOPENHAEUR CURE). It captures, not only the spirit of the age (late nineteenth century Vienna), but also the essence of Nietszche, who is brilliantly portrayed by one of my favorite actors (see his GOTTI), Armand Assante.
Assante captures the dynamism of Nietzsche in his very first scene, when he is lecturing on his famous "god is dead" statement in the classroom. While I will not go into the plotline, suffice it to say that this film deals with many themes that are universal, and presents the material in a way that is gripping and enlightening. I very much doubt that many viewers over a certain age will not recognize in some of the experiences that they will see some of their own life events.
Yalom's book, and Nietzsche's philosophy, helped me in a very dark time in my own life, when I had to cope with many of the same issues that plague Nietzsche's character. Then, as now, it is a healing experience to see this film show how our most enslaving obsessions can be endured, overcome and healed to make us stronger and free.
I cannot recommend this film enough."
A must see
sn Go Blue | SE Michigan | 12/06/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"First of all, I highly recommend reading the book first, as the film did not cover several key aspects of the plot, nor could it have explored all the nuances involved in the story without greatly adding to the film's length. Second, I gave the film four out of five stars because, in picking and choosing the aspects of the book to incorporate in the film, I believe overlooking the significance of the doves, as well as totally leaving out Dr. Breuer's relationship with a former nurse, as well as his brother-in-law, both compelling aspects to the story, were poor choices to leave out. Just the same, it is a great shame this film was not released in theaters in the U.S., as it is not just a great period piece, but an excellent study in human nature with terrific performances by both Assante and Cross. Nietzsche is brought to life as a human being. For those, me included, who studied his works whilst in college, Nietzsche can never again be viewed as an abstract personality, as both the book and the film are an amalgam of several of his works, and a fiction based upon fact biography of a great and complex man. Not only is this a study of obsessions on multiple levels; it is a brilliant study of the frailties and inner workings of the male psyche. The film was shot in Romania, a place which is generally not often observed by the average American, and that brings a greater richness to the film. Assante's character studies in such films as The Mambo Kings, Napoleon and Josephine, Looking For An Echo, On The Beach, Gotti, and the Odyssey are all worth viewing. It has often been said, and it must be said again: Armand Assante is an underrated actor, and that is a terrible shame. It is often the quiet ones who shun the limelight who do the most profound work, and I am not just saying this because I have liked Assante since he portrayed Napoleon; but, because, Mr. Assante's multi-faceted portrayals of complicated personalities have always moved me greatly. Take a good look at his works of this nature, and you may agree with me that Assante deserves all the accolades showered upon more prominant actors such as Anthony Hopkins and Tom Hanks."