At the recently concluded 28th Tokyo International Film Festival, Brazilian film Nise – The Heart of Madness got the Tokyo Grand Prix award.

Nise – The Heart of Madness is directed by Roberto Berliner, from Brazil, the film also took home the best actress award Gloria Piresa as Nise da Silveira, a female doctor who incorporates art therapy into her treatment in an era of a male dominated society where shock therapy was seen as important.

All winners for each section were interviewed on October 31 after the closing ceremony.

Yours truly is honoured to meet Director Berliner during the Opening party.

Nise – The Heart of Madness was the first film I watched in TIFF, together with Brillante Mendoza.

He introduced her wife, who is a fashion designer and we talked about the adoption system in Brazil.

Berliner directed documentaries Born to Be Blind (2004), Pindorama, (2008), Herbert de Perto (2009) and Ruckus at the Circus (2014). In 2014, Berliner completed his first fiction feature, the comedy Julio Sumiu. Nise – The Heart of Madness is his second feature film and won the audience award at Rio de Janeiro film festival before its international premiere in Tokyo this October.

About Roberto Berliner

His niche is documentaries that focus on people who bounce back from severe hardship, such as three blind sisters who survive on the streets of Brazil and a rock star who suffers a debilitating injury in a plane crash.

A true story, The indomitable female psychiatrist Nise de Silveria is the subject of Berliner`s second narrative feature. The attractive figure introduced Jungian theory to Brazil and made great strides in art therapy. Her tough attitude in confronting the mental-health establishment is deeply resonant. Since first appearing on TV at the age of five, Gloria Pires, who portrays Nise, has enjoyed a 40-year-career as one of Brazil`s leading actresses.

As the feature unfolds, Dr. Nise de Silveira arrives at a psychiatric hospital on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro and refuses to employ the new and violent electroshock in the treatment of schizophrenics. Ridiculed by doctors, she is forced to take the abandoned Sector for Occupational Therapy, where she would start a revolution through painting, dogs and love.

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