The Three Faces of Eve
The Three Faces of Eve (1957) stars Joanne Woodward, a woman from Augusta, Georgia suffering from multiple personality disorder (MPD) also known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). You will find that I refer to it both ways in this review. In the movie, Woodward plays a conservative southern housewife Eve White who, at times, transforms into a bold and bawdy woman named Eve Black. The movie is supposedly based on events that really happened in true life. Although at times it is almost difficult to accept and believe the rapid transformations portrayed from one personality to another, Three Faces of Eve is based on films of the actual Eve, whose name was Chris Sizemore. The Three Faces of Eve was an influential movie for psychiatry, because it made the public more aware of the diagnosis of multiple personality disorder. There are three characters, or personalities portrayed in the movie. At first she's Eve White, a troubled and plain young woman, and soon enough Eve Black, a brazen and hard woman, polar opposites in many ways to Eve White, comes to the forefront, doing battle with her nemesis. As the characters psyche continues to degenerate, a third identity, Jane, comes to the forefront. It is soon revealed that Eve suffers from a severe dissociative disorder caused by horrible childhood trauma. As the movie illustrates, inescapable trauma can cause the brain to separate experiences, in order to escape pain, as a form of coping. These separations can account for unpredictably violent behavior, memory loss, decreased faculties, and in extreme cases, the creation of multiple alternative personalities. Most cases of MPD stem from childhood abuse, sexual and physical. In Eve's case the disease appears to be clinically accurate although in reality, MPDs can switch between disparate personalities in the blink of an eye, with no warning but in this movie Eve puts her head down and seems to pass into a kind of trance in the moments...
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