Nise: The Heart of Madness (2015)


Nise: The Heart of Madness (2015)
Nise: O Coração da Loucura (original title)

A miracle happened in Brazil on the 1950's. Renowned modern art museums opened their doors to artists nobody ever heard of. Many critics pointed out that theses exhibitions revealed painters that should be ranked amongst the best brazillian artists of the century. It was written that this explosion of art and beauty was a sign that something comparable to the renaissance was happening in Riio de Janeiro. Behind this miracle there was no art academy, patron or dealer, only a psychiatrist, ridiculed by her colleagues, and a painting studio at a mental hospital, in the outskirts of town. The artists were schizophrenic, poor, hospitalized for several decades, abandoned by their families and hopeless according to their doctors. This film tells the story of this "Miracle" and the life of this rebellious, frail and engaging psychiatrist: Dra. Nise da Silveira.
IMDb   7.7 /10
TheMovieDb    8.2 /10
FilmAffinity   7.4 /10
Director Roberto Berliner
Writer Flávia Castro
Writer Mauricio Lissovski
Writer Maria Camargo
Release Date2017-04-27
Runtime1h 46min
GenreBiography, Drama, History
Content RatingNot Rated (Not Rated)
AwardsAwards4 wins & 12 nominations
CompanyTV Zero
Nise da Silveiraas Nise da Silveira
Eugêniaas Eugênia
Adelina Gomesas Adelina Gomes
Fernando Dinizas Fernando Diniz
Zé Mário Farias
Zé Mário Farias
Enfermeiroas Enfermeiro
Carlos Pertiusas Carlos Pertius
Dr. Césaras Dr. César
Almir Mavignieras Almir Mavignier
Dr. Nelsonas Dr. Nelson
Tadeu Aguiar
Tadeu Aguiar
Dr. Mourãoas Dr. Mourão
Mário Magalhãesas Mário Magalhães
Roney Villela
Roney Villela
Lúcio Noemanas Lúcio Noeman
Ivone Laraas Ivone Lara
Octávio Ignácioas Octávio Ignácio
Bernardo Marinho
Bernardo Marinho
Raphael Dominguesas Raphael Domingues
Emygdio de Barrosas Emygdio de Barros
Georgiana Góes
Georgiana Góes
Martha Piresas Martha Pires

Nise: The Heart of Madness

Nise: The Heart of Madness (Portuguese: Nise: O Coração da Loucura) is a 2015 Brazilian docudrama directed by Roberto Berliner. Starring Glória Pires, the film is based on the life of psychiatrist Nise da Silveira, a pioneer of occupational therapy in Brazil. Nise also features Fabrício Boliveira, Fernando Eiras, Perfeito Fortuna, Roberta Rodrigues, Augusto Madeira, Simone Mazzer, and Zé Carlos Machado.


In 1944, the doctor Nise da Silveira returns to work in a psychiatric hospital in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro and refuses to use electroshock and lobotomy in the treatment of schizophrenics. Insulated from the other doctors, she must reorganize the abandoned occupational-therapy sector, where she forms a new clinical approach of listening and observing, further alienating herself from her colleagues. Insisting that those under her care be referred to as clients, rather than patients, she encourages the freedom of expression through art, discovering her clients' talents. She opens the Casa das Palmeiras, a clinic and studio, at the hospital, and later starts a museum dedicated to her clients' artwork.


According to director Roberto Berliner, the idea for Nise came from Bernardo Horta, brother of the film's director of photography, André Horta. André started organizing some of da Silveira's writing, then passed the project to Berliner in 2003. In all, research for the film took 13 years.


The film was released over 3 years in different parts of the world. In 2015, it was released in Japan. Throughout 2016, it was released in Sweden, France, Brazil, and the Netherlands. In 2017, it was released in the United States by Outsider Pictures and Strand Releasing. In 2018, it was released to selected (about 600) screens in mainland China from January 5 through February 4.


Critical response

According to Rotten Tomatoes, Nise received generally positive reviews with a rating of 86%. Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times called it "a mesmerizing drama", Daphne Howland of The Village Voice wrote "the actors’ portrayals ... ring true", Jonathan Holland of The Hollywood Reporter called it "heartwarming but unsentimental", and J. R. Jones of the Chicago Reader wrote that it "has its powerful moments but ... turns into a black-and-white struggle between a caring, enlightened woman and a cadre of hard-hearted, benighted men."


YearNominee / workAwardResult
2015Nise: The Heart of MadnessTokyo International Film Festival Audience Award for Best FilmWon
Glória PiresTokyo International Film Festival Grand Prix for Best ActressWon
Nise: The Heart of MadnessRio Film Festival Audience AwardWon
2016IndieWire Critic's Poll Best Undistributed FilmNominated
IndieWire Critic's Poll Best Overlooked FilmNominated