Augustine: Painfully Instriguing

Have you ever experienced the pain of falling off of a bicycle or falling hard onto the ground? If you have then you can imagine that pain ten times worse. Augustine, a nineteen year-old girl suffers from a seizure and is left paralyzed on the right side and then experiences it on her left side after a traumatic incident. As a result, Augustine is sent to Paris’ all female psychiatric hospital Pitié-Salpêtriere where Dr. Charcot finds Augustine’s case to be intriguing. As Augustine is being tested for a “cure”, Dr. Charcot’s and Augustine’s relationship crosses the line between doctor and patient.

By Keen Lee

There is minimal dialogue in the film, but I felt the strong chemistry between Dr. Charcot and Augustine. Though Augustine is many years younger than Dr. Charcot, Augustine’s character is mature and is compatible with Dr. Charcot. I admire that not only does Augustine’s case change Dr. Charot’s career for the better, but I believe she had taught him a valuable lesson in life. Augustine raises the point to Dr. Charcot that she is suffering from the illness and she continues to suffer from humility due to his experiments with her in front of an audience. I find the twist turns out to be that Augustine is the one who “saves” Dr. Charcot in the end.

I enjoyed the film because the story is very well-developed between the two characters, and you will feel the kind of pain a young girl like Augustine would feel if you were in her shoes. After watching this film, I have learned to appreciate the fact that I live in a time when the study of medicine and health has advanced. I can understand the experience Augustine endured because she was not familiar with what she had and there was no immediate cure to it. I would recommend people to watch this film so they can immerse themselves in the way a patient like Augustine went through during a time when the medical field was not as developed as today’s.

2013 César (French Academy Award) Nominee for Best First Feature and Best Costumes
Official Selection: 2012 Cannes Film Festival- International Critics Week
Official Selection: 2012 Toronto International Film Festival -Discovery Section
Official selection: Lincoln Center – 2013 Rendez-Vous with French Cinema

Augustine Movie Trailer:

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