Forrest Gump

Powerful Essays
Beatriz Vera Posek

J Med Mov 2 (2006): 80-88

JMM
Insanity and Cinema: Keys to understand a complicated affair
Beatriz Vera Poseck
Psicología Clínica. Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain).
Correspondence: Beatriz Vera Poseck. Psicología Clínica. Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain). e-mail: beatrizvposeck@yahoo.es

Received 16 July 2006; accepted 24 July 2006

Summary
Psychopathology and mental disturbances have always been prevalent in cinema because they add an element of drama and mystery. Films portraying mentally disturbed characters like Dr. Dippy´s Sanitarium (1906) or Das Kabinett des Dr. Caligari (1919) by Robert Wiener were released only a short time after the Lumière brothers had invented the cinematographer. Since then, there are a large number of films whose plot and intrigue are based on insanity and its manifestations. The list grows steadily every year. This article is a review of some of the mental disturbances that have been portrayed in films. Its main purpose is to establish sensible choices and mistakes that have been committed while attempting to address the bottomless world of madness. Keywords: Mental Disturbances, Prejudice, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Amnesia, Psychopathy, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Mental Retardation, Autism.

Of all the disturbances being listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR)1 only a few of them have not yet been portrayed in films. Cinema has certainly been fascinated by insanity and its manifestations, and psychiatric disorders have provided film directors and scriptwriters with a stream of material for their scripts, action, and themes. Taking that interest into account, it is necessary to reflect on the vision of mental disturbances that has been transmitted by cinema to the public in general. For most average citizens the only contact they may have with the psychiatric reality is through cinema; hence, films are their one - yet strong -



References: 1.- American Psychiatric Association APA. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR 4th ed.. Washington, DC.: American Psychiatric Pub, Inc. 2000. 2.- Vera Posek B. Imágenes de la locura. La psicopatología en el cine. Madrid: Calamar Ediciones; 2006. 3.- Treffert DA. Extraordinary People: Understanding Savant Syndrome Omaha: Backinprint.com/iUniverse.com; 2000. 4.-Treffert, D. A. Rain Man, the Movie / Rain Man, Real Life. Wisconsin Medical Society [cited 2005 may 10]. [about 6 p.] Available from: http://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/savant/rainman.cfm 5.- The internet movie database [database on the Internet]. The Crowded Room (2006) [cited 2005 may 10]. Available from: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0411256 88 © Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca

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