In the aftermath of the Second World War, Jimmy Picard, an Indian, the Blackfoot who fought in France, is admitted to the military hospital in Topeka, Kansas, a specialized institution in brain diseases. Jimmy Picard suffers from many problems : dizziness, temporary blindness, hearing loss… In the absence of a physiological, the diagnosis is schizophrenia. The management of the hospital decides, however, to take the opinion of an ethnologist and French psychoanalyst and specialist in native american cultures, Georges Devereux.

Author’s Note


Original title : Jimmy P. (Psychotherapy of an Indian of the Plains)

Realisation : Arnaud Desplechin

Screenplay : Arnaud Desplechin, Julie Peyr, Kent Jones

Main actors : Benicio del Toro, Mathieu Amalric

Country of origin : France

Output : 11 September 2013

Duration : 1h56min

Trailer :

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Arnaud Desplechin (Kings and queen, A Christmas tale), leading figure of the cinema of the French author, returns to us this season with JIMMY P. (PSYCHOTHERAPY Of AN INDIAN OF the PLAINS). The film, presented at the last Cannes film festival, despite having received a positive reception has not won any awards.

JIMMY P. (PSYCHOTHERAPY Of AN INDIAN OF the PLAINS) is certainly a film stamped Desplechin © : psychoanalysis for narrative (here, more powerful still) and the presence of his alter ego, Mathieu Amalric. The film is due to and based on the book of the analyst George Devereux (founder of the ethnopsychoanalysis), “Psychotherapy of an indian of the plains – realities and dream”. Therefore, first index, for Devereux the reality is multi-faceted. It is multiple because subjective and multifactorial. Devereux does not limit its approach to the psychoanalytic theory, he adds the anthropology, ethnology and linguistics. Result the conscious and unconscious of a series of determinants, the patient follows the analysis in order to become his own master, out of his family heritage, moral, religious, cultural…

The film revolves around the analysis followed by Jimmy Picard and the relationship that develops with Devereux. In fact, the two things are confused in the eyes of Arnaud Desplechin. The analysis is the relationship. Thanks to his talent as a stage director (fields/counter fields become whirlpools, a conversation becomes a duel of western to very large plans in the Sergio Leone), Desplechin takes account of the porosity of the personalities of Devereux and Jimmy P. The analysis becomes a dialectic between two sorrows, two souls interpénétrées. The two men are in a situation of ” cognitive dissonance “. The one and the other fled a identity of socio-cultural-heavy and painful (Jimmy is from the tribe, Black Foot and Devereux is a Hungarian jew) ; they have both changed names.

This psychoanalysis be assimilated to a quest for lightness, embodied by this relationship so touching, where an indian of the plains to the mind heavy and cluttered will win, in fine, the summits.

Audacity of achievement, Desplechin filmed the dream. The usual stumbling block of the film as the border of the ridiculous is thin. Here, the bet is rather successful, because those scenes are not the dream itself, but rather its narrative a posteriori during the sessions. As well, they are the reconstruction common to both men and become a tool of understanding for the viewer/analyst.

Arnaud Desplechin is a great author doubles up as a great director (we regret, however, that he does not have enough confidence in his writing and that it may lead to an increase stupidly the review sessions by a music bombastic). This psychoanalysis be assimilated to a quest for lightness, embodied by this relationship so touching, where an indian of the plains to the mind heavy and cluttered will win, in fine, the summits. Shame to this criticism, I evacuate in a few words what it would take to devote pages, the interpretation. Although supported by a successful staging, Mathieu Amalric, and especially Benicio del Toro carry the film and are perfectly righteous. Somewhere between the SPIDER, IN TREATMENT and THE sopranos, we take our foot with this expatriation of the cinema of the French author.

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