Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Three Faces of Eve

I watched The Three Faces of Eve a while ago. I haven't read the book, but I wanted to see how Hollywood portrayed DID. I thought Joanne Woodward did a fine job of showing switching, but not having read the book, which is supposed to be a true story account of a woman with DID, I'm not really sure how well they portrayed her.

From what I've read about the real live Eve, the reason for her developing DID was not what was shown in the film. She had 22 to 26 personalities, not 3. I thought the cure for Eve in the film was very unbelievable. When she knew what caused her DID in the film, the two other personalities went away and a new "healthier" personality stayed to live her life.

I found the ending insulting to those of us with DID. I mean, why can't I just make a new mentally healthy personality to take over for all the unhealthy personalities? I know what happened to me - maybe not everything, but what is so wrong with me that I can't solve my problem like Woodward did in her portrayal of Eve? I was also bothered by the scene where Eve Black tries to kill Eve White's child. It just didn't fit any of her personalities to try to kill a child.

I liked Woodward's portrayal of Eve Black and kind of know how that feels. Eve Black did not like Eve White's husband. I have a couple of alters who have no interest at all in my husband, but they have no interest in any man. I also have alters who are more fun loving, outgoing, or sexual. I also have alters who are quiet and more timid like Eve White. I remember one time in a therapy session one of my other alters came out; you should have seen the look of shock on the therapist's face. I don't know that he really believed until that moment.

Woodward deserved the Oscar she won for her portrayal of Eve White, Eve Black, and Jane, but the playwright got the story wrong - again. I don't think Hollywood will ever get it right. They didn't then and they haven't yet - at least to my knowledge. Life with DID is just not Hollywood enough to make a movie about it.


Anonymous said...

Good review - I agree with what you said.

There is also some good information about dissociative and trauma disorders (including DID) on

the books page has a number of good biographies of people with DID, sadly the movie versions are very misleading

Tracy said...

I haven't seen this movie or read this book. But I may have to pick it up.
I wonder if the movie only using 3 of her alters is to not confuse the viewers?
It may not be accurate, but 26 personalities is hard enough for the person living with them to understand, never mind the audience who is trying to understand the character.
What is your thoughts?

Sunshine and Shadows said...

Hi Tracy,

I think you make a good point.

I also think that Hollywood has to sensationalize DID so that people will be interested in watching what they put out. Life with DID is often quite boring. :)

Kelsey said...

Hi there,

I agree that Hollywood never gets these types of things right. But I agree with Tracy, too, because I guess showing 26 personalities would possibly confuse the audience and take away from what the story is really about. Do you think the way DID is portrayed makes the audience view people who actually have the disorder as crazy people who have at least one personality that wants to harm others?