Coming to DVD and VOD today, Tuesday, June 7: YALOM’S CURE
Sabine Gisiger’s portrait of a psychiatrist had its premiere at Locarno in 2014. The doc also screened at Mill Valley, Docs Against Gravity, São Paulo, and Jewish fests in San Francisco, Boston, and Vienna, among other fests.
Gisiger’s subject is Dr Irvin Yalom – apparently America’s most popular psychotherapist, according to the film, though it’s not entirely clear how that’s judged – it’s likely a general audience would have little idea who he is. Unfortunately, the film assumes that Yalom needs very little introduction, making this feel very much like it’s pitched to the already converted. Despite the film’s tagline – “a guide to happiness” – while Yalom emphasizes that he lives a life free of regrets, the film offers viewers little insight as to how and why. For those not already familiar with his body of work, the film offers a thoughtful but unfortunately not particularly engaging reflection on the existentialist psychotherapist’s views on life, death, marriage, and family, as well as his professional breakthroughs in using writing and group therapy to help his patients.