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Roberto Faenza - director

Interview

Roberto Faenza broke a three-year absence from our screens with a new film entitled Take My Soul (2002)

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by Federico Greco

I was encouraged to bring to the light a story that had been forgotten about. Sabina Spielrein was an extraordinary young woman. Two of the greatest minds of the last century, Jung and Freud wanted everyone to forget about her because she was a metaphorical thorn in their sides. If her scandalous love affair with Jung had come to light earlier, the ground-breaking work of the two ‘founding fathers’ of modern psychoanalysis would have been severely damaged. Sabina’s story taught us an awful lot. For example, that mental illness should not only be treated by therapy. Sabina was in hospital for six years before meeting Jung. She spent a further year in therapy with him and was allowed out when she was virtually cured. She got better after a variation to her standard therapy was introduced: Sabina’s emotional involvement with her therapist. Sabina fell in love with her doctor and he with her. A scandalous affair resulted but both partners gave the other something special and that is what enabled Sabina to leave the hospital as a full and complete person. The same cannot be said of Jung. He abased himself during his relationship with Sabina.
I have always thought that Jung was a madman. Sabina was lucky enough to be cured, but Jung was not as lucky: he was a patient in a mental hospital in from 1921 to 1923 and had his name not been Carl Gustav Jung, he would have stayed there for at least three years. But he was discharged immediately. Jung was obviously a disturbed man; he’d had a troubled childhood and is alleged to have been raped. In his autobiography he mentions a situation in a cellar with an uncle of his. I wanted to put across the point that Jung was probably much sicker than Sabina was.
We could not make this film alone in Italy because most of the story takes place abroad and we simply did not have the money. That is why my producer, Elda Ferri, started her search for partners in England and France. These days putting together a co-production is a major initiative but we made it. These two countries are strong partners of ours and they allowed us to sell the film abroad. To date, around twenty countries have bought it but next year it will be released all over the world. That is extremely important for an Italian film. I have always said that we Italians use money to make films while the Americans use films to make money.

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