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David Helfgott: A Musical Journey

David Helfgott, Melvyn Bragg, Gillian Helfgott
Adolf Hitler | David Helfgott | amphetamine
Spoiler alert
Blog entry

Title: “David Helfgott” (0:00)

Fan: “We all saw the film Shine...” (0:00)

Headline: “On the ‘Shine’ Bandwagon.” (0:01)

Headline: “Mad, Bad, or a Joy to Hear?” (0:02)

David’s psychiatrist Susan Wynn: “David became ill... and spent many years in and out of psychiatric hospitals. The last time he was in a psychiatric hospital was in approximately 1976.” (0:03)

Music critic Andrew: “There is something distasteful about the way this man’s recovery has been exploited.” (0:04)

David perseverates. (0:06)

David repeats, “I’m never nervous.” (0:07)

Interviewer and narrator Melvyn: “In Shine, Peter Helfgott is depicted as an obsessive and occasionally violent father.” (0:14)

David’s wife Gillian: “There were periods when, with two of the sisters, they didn’t speak to their father, one for six months, and the other for two years.” (0:15)

Melvyn, “Did you like the film Shine?”
David: “We all obeyed Adolf the Fuhrer.” (0:16)

Gillian, referring to David’s illness: “It’s really just classed as a nervous disorder. He’s never suffered from schizophrenia or manic depression.” (0:18)

Susan: “Just in pure illness terms, I believe David suffers from schizoaffective disorder, which means that he has one of the mood disorders. He’s usually very mildly manic, just a little bit high, sped up.”
”If David is to be totally level, he would effectively be in some sort of chemical straitjacket...”
Gillian: “And this has only happened since Shine. (0:18)

Music critic Michael: “It’s perfectly obvious that whatever’s wrong with his mental condition...” (0:23) 

Melvyn: “It’s like listening to James Joyce on speed.” (0:24)

Melvyn: “The film suggests that he suffered and immediate mental breakdown.”
”... but four months later, with his mental health deteriorating rapidly, he was admitted to an English psychiatric hospital.”
David: “They said I’ve got a brilliant memory...”
“Can you be born with amnesia or something?”
Gillian: “No, you’ve got a pretty good memory...”
David echos. (0:36)

Susan: “There is no one factor that ever is responsible for a breakdown.”
David’s sister Margaret: “My father’s sister also had a mental illness, and she was in fact hospitalised for most of her life.”
Susan: “The main stress for David, I think, was this need, and his wish to please his father...” (0:38)

Melvyn: “Despite spending several years in and out of mental institutions David did have a short-lived marriage...” (0:40)