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I just watched ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’

In the movie The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari , Francis’s story leads us gradually to a final twist, which tells us that our hero is simply crazy and that the famous Doctor Caligari, who came to spread terror in his city, is the director of the establishment in which Francis is a patient. This reversal of the situation gives full meaning to the film and justifies all the decor and choices of scenes that have been made in Dr. Caligari’s Cabinet. Using the recourse of madness was a more than a wise way to justify the grotesque appearance of the sets appearing in flashback scenes. Madness altering Francis’ mind, it is impossible for him to restore a sensible history, and the result is a distorted narrative, both in substance and in form.

From this movie, I have chosen the final scene starting at 1:11:28 minutes to 1:13:16 minutes as the most central scene that can help understand a theme of the movie which is the interpretation of dreams as a method of psychoanalysis as explained in the document Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) from The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures. In this scene, Francis confront Dr. Caligari and said: You all think I’m insane-! it isn’t true – it’s the director who’s insane! – He is Caligari… Caligari… Caligari!

After watching this sequence, we now understand that Francis in order to deal with all its psychic problems created unconsciously this history in order to hold accountable Dr. Calagari.  It is here clear that Francis uses dreams to create unconsciously his history. This psychic phenomenon is portrayed in the document The Interpretation of Dreams and according to Freud: “It is a wish-fulfillment”.

From this, we could understand why Dr. Caligari asserted: “At last I understand his delusion. He thinks I am this mystique. Now I also know how to cure him.” As Freud, himself argued in his method of psychoanalysis, “dreams are capable of interpretation”  and “by drawing out dreams’ hidden meanings could a person expose the roots of his psychological problems”.

Alexandre Koffi

Entrepreneur, space enthusiast, dreamer, cosmic messenger.

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