SYBIL: A name that conjures up enduring fascination for legions of obsessed fans who followed the nonfiction blockbuster from 1973 and the TV movie based on it—starring Sally Field and Joanne Woodward—about a woman named Sybil with sixteen different personalities. Sybil became both a pop phenomenon and a revolutionary force in the psychotherapy industry. The book rocketed multiple personality disorder (MPD) into public consciousness and played a major role in having the diagnosis added to the psychiatric bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Feature length documentary hosted by the legendary Debbie Rochon (Terror Firmer/ Tromeo and Juliet) and highlighting and all-female cast of interviewees including Michelle Bauer (Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers), Sybil Danning (Howling II), Danielle Harris (the Halloween series), Adrienne King (Friday the 13th), Melanie Kinnaman (Friday the 13th Part V), Jennifer Lim (Hostel), Lynn Lowry (Shivers), Catriona MacColl (The Beyond), Cassandra Peterson (Elvira), Linnea Quigley (Graduation Day), Brinke Stevens (Slumber Party Massacre), Patricia Tallman (Night of the Living Dead), Lisa Wilcox (A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and 5) and many more.
The story tells of a young woman admitting to having blackouts, fearing they are getting worse. She is believed to suffer from multiple personalities, as a result of severe abuse at the hands of her mother, whom the psychiatrist, Cornelia B. Wilbur, believes was schizophrenic. The movie Sibyl is based upon author Flora Rheta Schreiberthe's novel and fictionalized version of the life story of Shirley Ardell Mason, an American psychiatric patient, claimed to have suffered multiple personality disorder. The novel Sibyl, was in its turn based largely on the alleged actual accounts of psychiatric treatment that Shirley Ardell Mason underwent, documented by American psychiatrist Cornelia B. Wilbur. Numerous psychiatrists, both contemporary and more recent, have strongly contested the diagnosis.