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Opium

2007

Director

János Szász

Writers

Géza Csáth (diaries)
András Szekér (writer)

Cast

Ulrich Thomsen
Kirsti Stubø
Zsolt László
Enikö Börcsök

OPIUM chronicles the life of Doctor Brenner (Ulrich Thomsen), whose reputation for both his literary work and his breakthrough approach to working with the mentally ill is compromised by his consuming morphine habit and sexual addiction.

Gradually ostracized by his more mainstream colleagues, Brenner takes up a new post at an isolated mental asylum where he develops a growing obsession with his patient Gizella (Kirsti Stubo).

An illicit bond between doctor and patient leads to a destructive and taboo meeting of body and mind as Brenner finds in Gizella the voice he has lost as a writer. Realizing that his own insatiable appetite for knowledge and power cannot co-exist with his desire and lust for Gizella, he is forced to make a choice which will cost her her last tenuous hold on sanity and ultimately her life.

“Szász, undoubtedly one of the most gifted Hungarian film-makers of his generation...” Dan Fainaru, Screen International
“OPIUM from Hungarian director Szász, is the kind of high-gloss intellectual drama that buyers ... go mad for” Scott Roxborough, Hollywood Reporter
“Distinctive blend of implied horror and arthouse gravitas will propel it to high-profile fest berths” Eddie Cockrell, Variety
  • Winner – International Critics’ Prize for Best Picture
    Budapest Film Festival

  • Winner – Best Director
    Budapest Film Festival

  • Winner – Best Cinematographer
    Budapest Film Festival

  • Winner – Best Sound
    Budapest Film Festival

  • Winner – Best Actress - Kirsti Stubo
    Moscow International Film Festival