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by Simon Pummell


Shock Head Soul interleaves documentary interviews, fictional reconstruction and CGI animation to portray the story of Daniel Paul Schreber, a successful lawyer who, in 1893, started to receive messages from God via a “Writing Down Machine” that spanned the cosmos. He spent the next 9 years confined to an asylum: tortured by delusions of cosmic control, suffering from the belief that he was shifting gender and that his body was subjected to cruel ’miracles’; Schreber believed that only his submission to God’s plan to change him into a woman would save the world. During his confinement he wrote "Memoirs of My Nervous Illness", which has earned him lasting fame as an outsider artist, allowing him to argue that that his belief system was a matter of religious freedom and that he was sane enough to return to society.

international title: Shock Head Soul
original title: Shock Head Soul
country: Netherlands, United Kingdom
year: 2011
genre: docu-fiction
directed by: Simon Pummell
film run: 95'
cast: Hugo Koolschijn, Anniek Pheifer, Thom Hoffman, Jochum ten Haaf
producer: Janine Marmot, Femke Wolting, Bruno Felix
production: Submarine, Hot Property Films Ltd
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