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The better we know ourselves, the better our lives will be. Yalom’s Cure by Sabine Gisiger

Born in 1959 in Zurich, Sabine has been making remarkable renowned documentaries. She has had international recognition with her film Yalom’s Cure and GURU Bhagwan Osho, His Secretary & His Bodyguard in 2010.

What got you into film making? My father bought us a Super-8 camera from Japan. He wasn’t particularly into photography or filming but it was lying around and one day with my boyfriend we made a programme about Migros and that’s how it happened…by accident really. But then I was hooked, as I learnt another way, or medium, to understand the world. I went on to make my first major film in 1994.

My father. He was great guy. I loved him so much, he was always positive. 

Who inspired you the most? My father. He was great guy. I loved him so much, he was always positive. He was a sales man and a real family man, too. I was lucky: both my mother and my father were encouraging. They always liked what I did and as a child there were no expectations. I was accepted for who I was.

You have been teaching as a lecturer on documentary films since 2002 at the ZHDK Zurich (Master Class) and at the Lucerne School of Art & Design. Tell us about your role as a teacher. I teach documentary at the Zurich University of the Arts. The University is a vibrant center for teaching. Being with young people is so valuable. I feel so optimistic because of their dynamism, their curiosity, and their courage, and the campus is really quite magnificent.

“I wanted to make a film that affects the viewers in the same cathartic way as the reading of Irvin Yalom’s books affected me – a film that inspires the audience to think about themselves and their own existence.”

Your latest film Yalom’s cure is exceptional. What idea sparked this breathtaking documentary? The idea of this documentary was inspired by the death of my father and my divorce. I had a lot of sadness and grief. I came across the book Love’s Executioner by Irvin Yalom and it helped me tremendously. I learnt to understand others and, more importantly, myself. I wanted to pass on the comfort I felt to others, and thus began the process. I wanted to make a film that affects the viewers in the same cathartic way as the reading of Irvin Yalom’s books affect me – a film that inspires the audience to think about themselves and their own existence. Irv is one of the most influential psychotherapists living today. Through this documentary you get to embark on an existential journey through the many layers of the human mind, navigating the depths and shallows of our psyche. Along the way we learn and listen as he reveals some of his most fundamental insights and wisdom.

Yalom’s Cure invites viewers to think about themselves and their existence. Tell us more.

Irvin D. Yalom is considered the most influential psychotherapist in the US. Critics describe the 80-year bestselling author as inspiring, captivating and life-changing. His work emphasizes the value of relationships and revolves around the question of how therapy works. “Yalom’s Cure” takes the audience on an existential journey through the layers of the human psyche. In the role of the tour guide, Yalom shares his insights and provides deep insights into his own psychic life. Irvvin Yalom whose novels storm the world’s bestseller lists, therefore advises everyone to the therapy because when it comes to getting to know each other, all people are patients. The film portrait “Yalom’s Cure” insights into the therapeutic work of Irvin D. Yalom, but also into the inside of man and author.

“The better we know ourselves, the better our lives will be,” says Irvin Yalom.

I have to mention the music in the film. The composer Balz Bachmann did a wonderful job. His music was a character in itself. Yes, it is truly wonderful. That is what I like about my films: I have worked with the same team since the very beginning. We are like a family and I think that is very important when you are in this industry.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received? My father told me his mother always said to him, “In the face of adversity look outside, life continues…”

“Both my mother and my father were encouraging. There were no expectations. I was accepted for who I was.”

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