A revered icon in Brazil, psychiatrist Nise da Silveira was a pioneer in the use of art as therapy and the introduction of Jungian psychology in Brazil. Arriving at a Rio de Janeiro mental hospital in 1944, she is appalled by the electroshock-and-lobotomy methods favored by the doctors. She soon finds herself exiled to the Occupational Therapy department — the equivalent of Siberia. Nise has a rough time with the neglected and mistreated patients, until she introduces them to painting and sculpting. The resulting works not only succeed as therapy but produce art whose genuine quality is praised by critics and whose forms are rife with Jungian archetypes. As Nise says, "They're communicating in a language we've forgotten — a language of the unconscious." Director Berliner, best known for his work in documentaries, brings a ring of authenticity to the story, and carefully develops the patients as individuals whose distinctive personalities are expressed through their art.