Moscow: Biomedgiz, 1936. Item #771
, 244,  pp., 20 ills. 21х15,5 cm. In original cloth with silver lettering. Rubbed, water stains on the lower inner corner of p. 222-243 and the last leaf with illustrations.
First and only edition. One of 3000 copies. Rare.
This is the first Soviet study on the moving pictures that were being used for the treatment of nervous and mental diseases. The book could not be allowed for official use because of the conflict between the author’s advice and parties’ decrees.
In the middle 1930s the medical films were used in the USSR, but not as developed therapy. The 1937 plans on these films were supervised by the secretary of The Film Committee of People’s Commissariat for Health, Lazar Sukharebskii who was psychoneurologist and screenwriter, author of books on medical films. He called the new Soviet science ‘patopsikhokinografiia’ (i.e. cinema psychopathography). It included any use of films in touch with patients and became a kind of bridge. From one side, the psychiatrists treated nervous and mentally ill people by moving pictures. From another one, the author considered it as the only way to record accurately the patient’s behavior with all significant moments of his life. In addition to the text, he published the frames from the medical films depicting illness and health, pictures of the nerves stimulation as well as special equipment of the cinema psychopathography. Later this year Sukharebskii headed the construction of a film studio in the psychiatric hospital named after Yakovenko (in Moscow region). It supposed to build for educational purposes, but there was no evidence that the studio was established.
In 1937 the large periodical ‘Kino’ published the negative review on this book, criticizing its pseudoscientific nature and ‘obvious political mistakes’. Sukharebskii analyzed the films that were earlier forbidden to show for the Soviet children. The bibliographical list included the banned books that were already excluded from Soviet libraries. Next purge decade kept silence about this scholar.
Worldcat shows the only copy at National Library of Medicine.
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