Roberto Berliner’s newest feature, “NISE: The Heart of Madness,” tells the fascinating true story of an unlikely group of artists and the woman who helped them find their voice (or, in this case, their paints).
Set in 1940’s Brazil, Gloria Pires plays Dr. Nise da Silveira, who works in a psychiatric hospital on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, where she refuses to employ the new and violent electroshock for the treatment of schizophrenics. Ridiculed by other doctors, she is forced to take over abandoned Sector for Occupational Therapy, where she starts a revolution through painting, animals and love.
Berliner’s film follows the real-life story of da Silveira as she nurtures her patients to craft work that eventually set them apart as some of Brazil’s most lauded artists. In our exclusive clip below, you can get a sense of the passion that Pires brings to the indelible role of the good doctor, and the “miracles” she finds in unexpected places.
The film won the Audience Award for Best Film at the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival, and Pires was lauded at the Tokyo International Film Festival for her turn, picking up the Grand Prix for Best Actress. Check out our exclusive clip below.
“NISE: The Heart of Madness” will open in New York and Chicago on Friday, April 28, with a wider national release to follow.