Documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney will profile psychologist Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis, who spent years delving into the minds of murderers, in his new film Crazy, Not Insane, premiering November 18th on HBO.
Lewis began her career as a child psychologist, which led to an interest in how childhood trauma can foster murderous impulses in adults. Over the course of her career, Lewis has analyzed and observed an array of notorious killers, including Arthur Shawcross and Ted Bundy, becoming an expert in dissociative identity disorder as she noticed how her subjects switched between alternate personalities, or “alters.”
As a press release notes, Lewis’ conclusions were often dismissed by others in her field, but “her videotapes of death row interviews show meaningful transformations between ‘alters’ developed in childhood, often as a way to endure and sometimes avenge, the pain they suffered.”
As the new trailer for Crazy, Not Insane shows, the film will feature footage from Lewis’ psychiatric evaluations, including those with Shawcross, Bundy, Mark David Chapman, David Wilson, Marie Moore, Joseph Paul Franklin, and Sam Jones. The documentary also boasts an extensive interview with Lewis, plus hand-drawn animations and home movies, while actress Laura Dern will read selections from Lewis’ writing.