The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Robert Wiene, the director of the film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, combines fact and fiction in his expressionist film in effort to captivate his viewers. This film portrays the element of fantasy in that it has an imaginary realm. The film breaks the rules of realism. In the story everything is crooked and all the sets are painted. The people with authority are revealed in exaggerated high chairs; for example the police is shown sitting on one of the high chairs in the police station. Francis first turns away from reality after Allen has been murdered because of the psychological pain it causes. In order to cope with this, Francis fantasizes that he is not the target of blame for his best friend's murder by blaming Dr. Calgari. His fantasy extends to a point where he is seen as the hero by challenging Dr. Caligari and Cesare. Later on in the film, it is discovered that the dream work that Francis’s unconscious mind uses to produce this story is related to the Freudian dream analysis; he mechanisms and symbols to produce his fantasy. In addition, Dr. Caligari and Cesare are not real people; they are fragments of Francis' imagination and serve as objects used to place blame upon. The films ambiguous ending leaves the validity of Francis' story unknown because his illness is not explicitly confirmed. However, the Freudian theory shows that Francis has fantasized the entire story to satisfy his guilty mind.
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