psychology on the big screen

Soviet filmmaker Andrey Tarkovsky said that the last frontier was not that of the universe, but that of the human mind. The exploration of it, hand in hand with psychology, is not a rarity in the Seventh Art.

He himself created one of the most remembered tapes about the mind of a planet, SolarisPerhaps the best science fiction movie in history. Beyond that, there are dozens of examples of psychology applied to cinema.

To celebrate Psychologist’s Day, which in Mexico is celebrated every May 20, here we present a selection of tapes in which some real psychology problems are portrayed.


Solaris is a strange planet with a huge ocean that seems to have a life of its own. Psychologist Kris Kelvin travels to this place to try to understand what is happening. When he arrives, he finds several researchers and a recorded message from a scientist who took his own life.

The film is based on a novel by Polish writer Stanislaw Lem. There are numerous references to El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha, who had a mental illness, throughout the film. It was Tarkovsky’s most successful film outside the Soviet Union, although the director did not like it.

A brilliant mind

John Nash is a genius who obsessively searches for a unique mathematical theorem, never raised before. This quest is interrupted when a secret organization recruits him to protect the United States from an international threat.

The film, directed by Ron Howard and starring Russell Crowe, is based on the story of John Nash, Nobel Prize in Economics, who suffered from schizophrenia. Some of the dialogues in the film are inspired by the Economic Theory of the Game, created by Nash and for which he received the Nobel Prize. The problems written by Russell Crowe in the film are based on real mathematical theorems.

The Sniper

Three friends from Pennsylvania enlist in the Army to fight in Vietnam. Already on the battlefield, the three young people live bitter experiences that mark them permanently and, upon their return to the United States, they show how their traumatic experiences affected them.

Robert De Niro has pointed out that this has been his most exhausting performance, in fact, he lived with American workers to prepare his role: he presented himself as Bob and it is said that nobody recognized him. For her work in this film, in which she played a psychologist, Meryl Streep achieved her first Oscar nomination.

Trapped without exit

To escape from jail, a clever criminal feigns insanity to get him transferred to a psychiatric hospital. There he encounters the mistreatment that the nurses dispense to the interns.

To give their performances greater realism, the actors in the film, directed by Milos Forman, spent 10 days with mental patients. Some of the extras were sick in real life. It is believed that Jack Nicholson decided to undergo mild electroshock therapy to correctly interpret his role in the film.

people as one

A family tries to overcome the loss of one of their children, pressure that causes the other young man to attempt suicide. The father does his best to keep his relatives together.

According to experts, the film faithfully shows the ways in which grief can express itself in a person. This film is the directorial debut of actor, filmmaker and producer Robert Redford, who is one of the five directors whose first film was awarded the Oscar for Best Picture.

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