Roberto Berliner’s “Nise: The Heart of Madness” (Nise: O Coração da Loucura) is a sturdy, largely conventional portrait of valiant, stubborn psychiatrist Dr. Nise da Silveira (telenovela star Glória Pires), who in 1940s Rio de Janeiro resists lobotomies and the introduction of electroshock therapy to treat schizophrenics. This small, frail woman instead tranformed an occupational therapy practice, which led to the discovery of unknown artists, whose outpourings Nise looked upon in Jungian terms, then sponsored into modern art museums. “Nise” is classically well-shaped and captivating in its small, well-observed gestures of behavior and of color and shape which pour from her patients’ subconscious. 106m. (Ray Pride)
“Nise: The Heart of Madness” opens Friday, April 28 at Siskel.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His multimedia history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” will be published later this year.