Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square

(L'Homme des foules)

Year: 2001
Country: France
Run Time: 90 minutes

You may have heard of the "Stendahl Syndrome" from a Dario Argento horror movie by the same title from a few years ago. Now director John Lvoff evokes the strange psychological disorder to a very different effect, in this tense drama of moral equivocation. Paul Marcovic, a middle-aged tourist, is sightseeing with his wife in a Lisbon cathedral when he suffers a nervous collapse. It might be exhaustion, or it might be the notorious Stendahl Syndrome, in which those afflicted suffer disorientation from sensory overload after exposure to too many illustrious works of art and beauty at one time. A young psychoanalysist, Dr. Giordano, treats Marcovic, hoping to discover more about this arcane psychological problem. But as she examines the man in detail, she learns that the true cause of his blackout may have been something far sinister. Paul Marcovic was a petty bureaucrat in an East Bloc country during the Cold War, and he confides in her that he fears he might have been a government torturer, culpable for numerous atrocities. Now it's Dr. Giordano's turn to be dazed and confused. Is this another delusion brought on by Stendahl or a case for international authorities, involving guilt and unpunished violations of human rights? Marcovic could be either the victim or the criminal. Or perhaps both, as Dr. Giordano digs deeper into his psyche for the ultimate truth. (In French with English subtitles)

Emmanuel Salinger, Pascal Bonitzer, John Lvoff

John Lvoff

Martine Marignac, Maurice Tinchant

Jean-Claude Larrieu

Monica Coleman

Principal Cast
Jerzy Radziwilowicz, Maria de Medeiros, Danuta Stenka, Zbigniew Zapasiewicz, Isabel Ruth, Armando Pinheiro, Tomasz Preniasz-Strus

Film Contact
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