Years ago I watched the film Shine several times. Tonight my swain and I watched it together and I felt like posting a couple of clips-one of the real David Helfgott and the other is the trailer from 1996.
When he was nineteen, he won a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music in London, England for three years, where he studied under Cyril Smith. During his time in London he began showing more definite manifestations of mental illness. His doctor in Australia, Chris Reynolds, whom he met some twenty years later, said that he suffers from an acute anxiety neurosis. He returned to Perth in 1970, and married his first wife, Clara, in 1971. He also took part in several Australian Broadcasting Corporation concerts. After his marriage broke down he was institutionalised in Graylands, a Perth mental hospital. Over the next ten years, he underwent psychiatric treatment which included psychotropic medication and electroconvulsive therapy.
Today, David Helfgott now lives in “The Promised Land”, a valley near Bellingen in New South Wales with his second wife, Gillian. He continues to perform concerts at his home. His other interests include cats, chess, philosophy, tennis, swimming and keeping fit in general.