AUGUSTINE, the debut feature film from French writer-director Alice Winocour, nominated for a 2013 César for Best First Feature is based on the true story of Doctor Jean-Martin Charcot, the 19th century founder of modern neurology - whom Sigmund Freud studied under - and his star teenage patient, the beautiful illiterate kitchen maid Augustine, prone to spectacular and inexplicable fits of "hysteria." 

After suffering a seizure which leaves her paralyzed on her right side,19-year-old Augustine (26 year-old recording artist-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 Doctor 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 lecture halls as she displays her unusual fits. Dr. Charcot, whose methodology was known for its theatrical panache, uses Augustine to demonstrate his theories regarding madness and neurosis to a riveted audience of all-male physicians. They gaze upon her from on high, in the medical “theatre” in which his famed presentations transpire. As Dr. Charcot and Augustine's relationship continues, the lines between doctor and patient start to blur….

AUGUSTINE is the feature film directorial debut of 36 year-old director Alice Winocour, a graduate of the Paris film school La Femis. Her first short film Kitchen was selected in competition at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, and she co-wrote the screenplay for Ursula Meier's Home. Soko was nominated for a César for Best Female Newcomer for Xavier Giannoli's Cannes Film Festival selection In the Beginning. 

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