AUGUSTINE is an examination of the real case story and unusual relationship between Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot, the pioneering 19th century French neurologist and his star teenage patient. The film had its international premiere in Critics’ Week of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, and will make its U.S. debut in Rendez Vous With French Cinema this March. Music Box Films plans a spring 2013 release.
After suffering an inexplicable seizure which leaves her paralyzed on her right side,19-year-old illiterate kitchen maid Augustine (27 year-old singer-turned-actress Soko in a break out performance), is shipped off to Paris’ all female psychiatric hospital Pitié-Salpêtriere which specializes in detecting the then-fashionable ailment of ‘hysteria’. Augustine captures the attention of Dr. Charcot (Vincent Lindon, Mademoiselle Chambon, Welcome) after a seizure which appears to give her intense physical pleasure. Intrigued, he begins using her as his principal subject hypnotizing her in front of fellow doctors – as she displays her spectacular fits in lecture halls – and eventually blurring the lines between doctor and patient.
The deal was negotiated by Kinology head Grégoire Melin and Music Box Films’ President William Schopf and Managing Director Ed Arentz. Music Box and Kinology have previously collaborated on the successful release of César winners Mesrine: Killer Instinct, Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 and Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life. Other notable French films released by Music Box Films include OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies; Tell No One; Séraphine; The Names of Love; and Potiche.
“We’re looking forward to sharing Alice Winocour’s first feature with US audiences,” states Arentz. “It’s a fascinating story of 19th century psychology and sexuality from a distinctive 21st century sensibility.”
Music Box Films plans a spring 2013 release.