Eugénie Cléry (Lou de Laâge) is a young woman with a free spirit, an independent mind, and a quick tongue — qualities her father will not tolerate. Eugénie also has spectral encounters that leave her staring into space and gasping for breath. She is visited by the spirits of the dead.
Alarmed by her visions, Eugénie’s family admits her to a neurological clinic in Paris’s Pitié-Salpêtrière overseen by Professor Jean-Martin Charcot (Grégoire Bonnet). The clinic is populated by women of all ages. Some are fleeing violence. Some, like Eugénie, are there by force. Most are given the dubious diagnosis of hysteria. Eugénie has been cloistered in a place where gaslighting, condescension, and abuse are the modus operandi. Charcot is more showman than scientist, hypnotizing patients for the delight of his colleagues, deploying heinous bogus therapies, and orchestrating a grand ball that preys upon his patients’ fantasies.