CHICAGO, May 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Cassandra, a new award-winning thriller short directed by Northwestern University professor David E. Tolchinsky premieres on Alter (Watchalter.com) on May 13, 2020 at 8 a.m. pacific time, explores the memory recovery movement.
Screenwriter, composer, and professor David E. Tolchinsky remembers reading an article in The New Yorker about psychiatrists in Chicago who had reinterpreted their patients' dreams as memories of abuse. These psychiatrists were part of a short-lived movement called "memory recovery therapy." The psychiatrists intentionally "implanted" memories of abuse in their patients. Meanwhile, the "recovered memories" caused trauma, raised questions and made shambles of the patients' relationships with the accused family members and/or friends. "Recovered memories therapy" was replaced by "false memory syndrome," and the destruction of the careers of the psychiatrists involved.
Years later, as a screenwriter, Tolchinsky pondered: what if one of the psychiatrists had stumbled upon actual abuse (and no doubt some of the memory recovery psychiatrists did just that), but disavowed that abuse, for fear of being sued or imprisoned?
According to mythology, the half-goddess Cassandra was able to predict the future, but since she rejected Apollo's advances, she was cursed never to be believed. Cassandra could speak to birds, which were seen as the link between humans and the gods. For Tolchinsky, Cassandra and birds are symbols of people standing up for themselves against sexual abusers but (in the case of Cassandra) are often not believed and silenced.
Besides writing and directing, Tolchinsky scored/sound-designed the film. Tolchinsky was trained as a composer at Yale before he was trained as a screenwriter at USC.
In a time when theatrical runs and film festivals are being canceled, VOD streaming services like Alter, which hosts highly curated/artful darker fare and live Q&As with the directors, are more important than ever in creating communal experiences. "Maybe Cassandra will stir fear or rage, and dreams or memories . . . the past is always in flux. And sometimes the past can feel more present than the present itself," says Tolchinsky.
Cassandra is an Institutional Quality Productions presentation. Written/directed/scored/sound designed by David E. Tolchinsky, produced by Madison Jones, starring Sara Bues, Ruby Dalton, and John Fenner Mays, cinematography by Robert Patrick Stern, production designed/fx by Sarah Sharp, edited by C.A. Davis. It was named Best Thriller Short and Best Editing at the Women in Horror Film Festival.
Be sure to catch Cassandra on May 13, 8 a.m. PST exclusively on Alter at watchalter.com
SOURCE Institutional Quality Productions