The documentary “Yalom`s Cure” (2014, directed by the Zürich-born Sabine Gisiger) is more than a classic biography. It features one of America`s most influential living psychotherapists, how he interacts with his wife Marilyn, their four “adult” children and grandchildren. It is a sensitive, slow and touching collection of interview sequences and film segments- from the immigration of his Jewish-Russian parents to his life in Washington DC nowadays.
Yalom, a 86 year-old American psychotherapist, author and professor, takes the audience on a existential journey through the many layers of the difficult riddles that are an integral part of our human existence, like self-awareness, love, suffering, aging and the fear of death.
The documentary is not a “Guide to Happiness” even though the German second title suggests this. The movie doesn`t reveal any formerly unknown secrets on how to live a happy life. The movie awakens the passion to deepen the understanding of one self and curiosity in life. Sabine Gisiger closely films Yalom, capturing his reflections on human existence and his perception of human relations. It chronicles his early years struggling to cope with the demands, irritable moods and criticism coming from his mother.
Central to Yalom`s teachings is the focus on self-awareness and deeper inner-self knowledge. The key to understanding and coping with suffering, an universal and unavoidable human condition, can only be achieved through extensive self-exploration.
Yalom is someone who practices what he preaches. A key element of his inviting vitality is that he is still engaged and active, both physically and mentally.
Watch the movie trailer