János Szász: Opium – Diary of a Mad Woman

Hungary 1913. The story of the writer and doctor, Josef Brenner (Ulrich Thomsen) is a Faust-story of our times. Brenner works as a doctor in a mental clinic of the early last century. He has suffered a writing crisis for months; he is unable to put down even a single line on paper, and meanwhile becomes a morphine addict. One day he gets a new patient, the 28-year-old Gizella (Kirsti Stuboe). The mad woman, however, keeps writing all the time, she is addicted to her own diary, and is unable to put down her pen. The young woman increasingly gets obsessed with the compulsion to have been taken over by an alien and cruel power. Brenner becomes jelous of the woman. She creates fanatically and ingeniously. The initial doctor-patient relationship gradually transforms: doctor and patient fall in love with each other, and sexual frenzy gets the upper hand in their relation. To make everything come true he has been incapable of so far, Brenner wants to enter a pact with the Evil through the woman’s body. The Evil, however, wants Brenner for himself body and soul. The doctor has to pay a big price for this alliance. In return Gizella asks him to cut out her brain, deliver her from Evil, and bring oblivion for her. Brenner has no choice. He must destroy Gizella: the one and only person he really loved.

Director: János Szász
Screenplay: János Szász, András Szekér
D.O.P.: Tibor Máthé
Editor: Anna Kornis
Sound: István Sipos, Manuel Laval, Matthias Schwab
Art Director: Tibor Lázár
Costume Designer: János Breckl
Still Photo: Katalin Mészáros
Line Producers: Andrea Kormos, Erika Tarr
Producers: Pál Sándor, Andras Hamori
Co-Producer: EuroArts Filmed Entertainment GmbH
Produced by: Hunnia Film Studio

Cast: Ulrich Thomsen, Kirsti Stuboe, Zsolt László, Enikő Börcsök, Sándor Zsótér, Gyöngyvér Bognár, Roland Rába, László Kassai, Zoltán Szőllősi, Géza Szőllősi, Ákos Horváth, Miklós Mádl, Csaba Horváth, Dóra Rozsnyai, Erika Molnár, Kata Fekete, Roland Tzafetaas, Martina Kovács, Teréz Vass, Bori Blaskó, Kitty Fejes, Éva Juhász

2007, Hungarian feature film, color, 108 min, 35 mm