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Shock Head Soul

Feature film, 2011, 83 min.

With a mix of documentary, stirringly dramatised scenes and animation, Shock Head Soul is a poignant biographical sketch of the life and work of Daniel Paul Schreber, a German judge who became psychotic in 1893, at the height of his career werd. Schreber believed he had contact with God via the Writing Down Machine, a precursor of the typewriter, and that only his transformation into a woman could save the world. His memoirs, published later, about his lengthy stay in an institution formed unique source material for Freud and other scientists. Actors enact moments from his pathological process and various contemporary psychiatrists and scientists, dressed in 19th century attire, throw light on the possible causes of his affliction. Was he a mystic, a believer or a madman?

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