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Opium: Diary of a Madwoman

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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(Nov 11, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

1913. Dr. Josef Brenner (Ulrich Thomsen), a compulsive morphine addict, transfers to a mental institution for troubled women. There he meets a deeply disturbed patient, Gizella (Kirsti Stubø), who believes she is possessed by evil. The two begin a dangerous affair, which threatens to destroy them both in this Faustian tale of obsession, addiction and madness.

DVD EXTRAS: Making of Featurette, Interviews with cast and crew, B-roll footage


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Ulrich Thomsen, Kirsti Stubø, Zsolt László, Enikö Börcsök, Gyöngyvér Bognár
  • Directors: János Szász
  • Writers: János Szász, András Szekér, Géza Csáth
  • Producers: Andras Hamori, Bernd Helthaler, Erika Tarr, Heiko Burkardsmaier
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Hungarian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: KOCH Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: November 11, 2008
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001EAWMF6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,544 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Opium: Diary of a Madwoman" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Dr. Géza Csáth was a Hungarian physician and morphine addict who lived around WW1, a tragic period in Hungarian history. He was hospitalized a lot and even shot his wife dead after an escape from an asylum. He wrote the autobiographical Diary of a Madwoman, his best known work.

The movie is great, the macabre and occult humor, unprofessional and socially unacceptable behavior of the characters fits right into the asylum world.

I have to admit that the transorbital lobotomy scene was nerve-racking even for this physician reviewer.
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Format: DVD
"Opium: Diary of a Madwoman" stars Ulrich Thomsen ("The World Is Not Enough") in this fact-based thriller. Thomsen portrays Dr. Josef Brenner, a morphine-addicted Hungarian neurologist who believes drugs will cure his case of writer's block. Brenner travels to a remote asylum for women, hoping to obtain morphine under the pretext of conducting a psychoanalytic study. There, he becomes drawn to a suicidal patient, Gizella (Kirsti Stubo, "The Greatest Thing"), who believes her soul has been captured by the devil. The conflicted Brenner and Gizella begin a dangerously co-dependent affair that threatens to send them both over the edge. The film, which has won several European film festival awards, is in Hungarian with English subtitles. There is also an optional English dubbed track. Bonus extras include a making-of featurette and interviews with cast and crew.
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Format: DVD
Opium is simply a magisterial masterpiece. No other film in the history of cinema (with the honored exception of Samuel Fuller's Shock corridor),has dealt and dared with such inciseveness, gloomy crudeness and brutal hyperrealism the last boudaries of the insanity like this one.

Dr. Brenner (Ulrich Thomsen)is a renowned psychiatrist but also, a compulsive morphine addict assigned to attend the strange case of Gizelle (Kirsti Stubo). But this encounter will ignite in both beings unexpected and unbearable tension states.

A film hard to watch due its febrile atmosphere, powerful expressive force and unstoppable tension.

The towering performnaces of Thomsen and Stubo are by themselves, worthy to watch. Besides, the implacable script and the magisterial direction, you have in addition, two other gems of the crown.

A legendary cult movie since its immediate release and one of the most transcendental movies I've seen in years.
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Format: DVD
It is not often that one can find a Hungarian movie available. This one is not only available but has earned a lot of film prizes in Europe. It is a tale set is 1913. Doctor comes to an institution for mentally sick female patients. When he is not helping the sick, he is writing fiction. But internally, he is no different from his patients. He feels his life dragging on with no pleasure and happiness in it. While patients are subjected to the most torturous of treatments: cold showers, electric shocks, underwated submersion to mention only a few, he is lucky to self medicate with opium that is widely available to him.

He gets assigned a new patient, young woman Gabrielle who is convinced that devil is inside of her. She spends all of her free time writing as if hoping that writing is a remedy to her illness. We learn that Gabriella had a sick mother who she cared for as a child until her mother passed away. Soon after her mother dies, she was sent off to asylum. But her trauma of loosing her mother is mixed with strong sexual desire for the doctor who was taking care of her mother. Gabriella also feels guilty for wishing to run away from the responsibilities of caring for her sick mother and wishing to be married, as if marriage would save her from such grave task. Once her mother is dead, her guilt is overwhelming and her sexual repression takes over her mind.

It is under these circumstances that two people - doctor and his patient - meet. Internally both are dead. While one is self medicating with opium, the other is obsessively writing. They both need each other.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie has a great soundtrack, marvelous images and a nerve racking plot! Excellent work. I strongly recommend this movie for those who are interested in psychosis.
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