Hysterical Girl

Hysterical Girl

A film by Kate Novack | 2020 | 14 minutes

In 1900, Sigmund Freud began treating a 17-year old girl he called “Dora.” Her parents brought her to therapy after she accused a family friend of sexual assault. Freud’s account of his sessions with Dora was the only major case history he published of a female patient. Intercutting his published text with a scripted version told from Dora’s point of view, Hysterical Girl, directed by Kate Novack (The Gospel According to André), revisits this landmark case. Woven throughout are several decades of cinema, Congressional hearings, and media coverage. What emerges is a portrait of the grip that Freud’s theory of hysteria has had on popular culture over the past century and into the present day.


* Nominee, Best Short Documentary, IDA Awards

“Visually dynamic and concisely poignant.”