C G Jung Centre, Cape Town

NPO Reg # 197-888

Jung and Film

Jung and Film 2018

A discussion forum for exploring the paradoxical nature of love

through the medium of film



John Gosling, Renee Ramsden, Grace Reid


C G Jung Centre, 87 Main Road, Rosebank, Cape Town 7700


Friday evenings at

18h00 for 18h30



pdf download


Archetypal symbols penetrate the emotions at a deep level and give the cinema its power to bypass the conscious state and go into the unconscious. Immersion in film viewing distracts the ego so that it disengages from its usual function as the primary filter of awareness…the unconscious, stimulated by symbols in the film, releases archetypal energies in the spectator’s psyche. (John Izod and Joanna Dovalis in Cinema as Therapy)

This year we will be reflecting on what Jung refers to as “the incalculable paradoxes of love”, as it relates to the archetype of the Self, the central organizer of the human psyche, and which synchronizes the growth of the human being, from conception and birth, through all the phases of life, from youth to old age, and finally, death. Jung says of the archetypal influences in our psyches: we are compelled to act by these energies, but are also free to reflect and thus make choices in terms of our actions.

Through the medium of film, we can reflect on the drama of life as it is played out by the various characters in the films who are often gripped by archetypal energies that compel them to action. This gives us the opportunity to observe the archetypal energies that often determines our fate while also becoming aware of the human capacity for reflection that, through increasing awareness, allows for choice and hence the determination of our destiny within the parameters of our fate. In the movies we have chosen, we will explore the origin of love as expressed in various mythologies and also see the paradoxical nature of this archetype in action, both in its destructive and healing aspects.


These evenings are open to all who are interested. A panel discussion based on each film/documentary will be offered to participants by the above 3 analysts.


Dates and topics


9 March: Lars and the Real Girl


 In this whimsical and heartfelt story set in a small midwestern town in the USA, Lars Linstrom (played by Ryan Gosling) is a painfully shy young man living in the garage behind the home of his brother and sister-in-law. Too shy to approach a human, yet yearning for relationship, Lars orders a life-size plastic sex doll from the internet and introduces her to the townspeople as his girlfriend Bianca. Concerned about Lars, his sister-in-law asks the town doctor and psychologist for help. The doctor diagnoses Bianca with low blood pressure and asks Lars to bring her for treatment once a week. She also asks the townspeople to treat Bianca as a real girl. During the course of the "treatments" Lars's story gradually unfolds. A crisis and resolution in the relationship with Bianca take place alongside this process. These brilliantly illustrate the power of projection, and the way in which it can be instrumental in a healing and transformation journey.

4 May: A Beautiful Mind

image3"A Beautiful Mind" is human drama about the struggle of a true genius, inspired by events in the life of John Forbes Nash, Jr., a talented mathematician who has been compared to Newton, Mendel and Darwin, and who becomes a victim of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is the most chronic and disabling of the major mental illnesses and it distorts the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions, interprets reality and relates to others. The movie stars Russell Crowe as Nash, and Jennifer Connelly as his wife, Alicia, who is pregnant with their child when the first symptoms of his disease become apparent. The film sheds light on the life and suffering of a person living with schizophrenia, as well as highlighting the burden a psychiatric illness can put on loved ones. It is a moving portrayal of how, through the love and support from his wife and colleagues, he is able to manage his illness and return to living a normal life.

15 June: Never Let Me Go

image4Kathy (Carey Mulligan), Tommy (Andrew Garfield) and Ruth (Keira Knightley) grow up together at a seemingly idyllic boarding school in the English countryside. However, all is not as it appears to be. Their close friendships are complicated not only by intense sexual tensions and betrayal, but also by the knowledge that the purpose of their lives is to provide the means of survival for other members of society. Based on the 2005 novel by Nobel Prize-winning British author Kazuo Ishiguro (which was shortlisted for the 2005 Booker Prize), Never Let Me Go grapples with fundamental questions of loyalty, existence, oppression, and the power of projection to determine the course of human lives.


3 August: Appointment with a wise old dog

image5This is a documentary about the inner world of David Blum, author and internationally renowned composer/conductor of classical music. Diagnosed with cancer and the age of 52, he discovered that drawing images from his dream helped him cope with his illness and death in a profoundly unexpected way. This film documents the miraculous power of the human spirit and demonstrates movingly how in times of serious crisis, when we question mortality, we can depend on deep inner resources we all have – to listen to and trust them can bring us comfort and even transcendence. (Jutta von Bucholtz) I have studied and meditated on David Blum’s extraordinary documentation of his dreams and inner work – the immense gifts that were given to him from his unconscious and poured into images and music. We are intrigued on all levels – emotional, imaginal, intellectual. Our hearts are split open as we watch the process of the inner marriage. (Marion Woodman)

21 Sept: Venus Uncovered: Ancient Goddess of Love

image6“Venus Uncovered” is the remarkable story of one of antiquity's most potent life forces. In this documentary, Professor Bettany Hughes, an English historian, author, and broadcaster. embarks on a voyage of discovery to reveal the truth behind the Venus depicted in the famous painting by Velazquez, the “Rokeby Venus”. Beginning in Cyprus, the goddess's mythical birthplace, Hughes decodes Venus's relationship to the Greek goddess Aphrodite, and, in turn, Aphrodite's complex origins both as a Cypriot spirit of fertility and procreation but also as a descendant of the prehistoric war goddesses of the Near and Middle East, Ishtar, Inanna and Astarte. Hughes meets world experts who reveal the mysterious and obscure ways this ancient goddess was imagined and worshipped. She remains a beguiling force in our psyches – complex, dangerous, compelling, and worthy of our respect. We trivialise the power of this archetypal force at our peril. We will encounter aspects of this archetypal energy again in our next film, “Wonder Woman”.

16 November: Wonder Woman

image7In this film, director Patty Jenkins redefines how the world sees women. No woman has ever directed a more successful live-action film. The film tells the story of Princess Diana, who grows up on the Amazon island of Themyscira. After American pilot Steve Trevor crashes offshore of the island and is rescued by her, he tells the Amazons about the ongoing World War. Diana then leaves her home in order to confront and end the conflict.

Jenkins creates a world in which women take for granted that they have the power to fight back, a universe in which a strong, aggressive, sensual, and ambitious woman can be admired and followed. “It is aggression from a woman’s point of view,” says Jenkins, that women feel but that is seldom seen on screen.

Even though Wonder Woman is a goddess and therefore has special powers, in the course of the film she also undergoes a coming of age process. There are several archetypal themes underpinning this film that offers us a fascinating and compelling viewing experience. As the #MeToo campaign has unfolded and with the increasing awareness of the negative impact of the patriarchy on all of us, this film about a woman that can stand up to the negative destructive masculine and win is timely and inspiring.


About the presenters

RENEE RAMSDEN: is a clinical psychologist and a Jungian analyst working in private practice in Wynberg, Cape Town, for 29 years. She is a founder member of the Southern African Association for Jungian Analysts (SAAJA) and a training analyst. She specializes in dream-analysis and has been studying alchemy and psychology as presented by C.G. Jung for 25 years. She has a longstanding interest in ancient goddess cultures and their relevance for the feminine in our current world.

JOHN GOSLING: is a psychiatrist and Jungian analyst. He trained at the C.G. Jung Institute of New York and returned to Cape Town in 2004. He is a past- president of SAAJA and is also a training analyst. He has a special interest in dreams, complexes, archetypes and how psychoneurobiology informs our work and approach to psyche. He is also interested in exploring how the principles of analytical psychology can be applied in helping children in traumatised communities and how these principles can be applied to help us better understand politics, films, literature, and the opera.

GRACE REID: Grace Reid is a psychologist and Jungian analyst who practices psychotherapy, psychoanalysis and supervision in Kenilworth. Her training and education took place mostly in the United States, where she was in private practice for five years before moving to Cape Town in 1990. She is currently the secretary of SAAJA’s Exco and is also a training analyst.

CPD points applied for: 1 point per evening

For 6 evenings: 6 points


Fee: R200.00 per film evening

Light supper, drinks, coffee/tea, and sweets included

Numbers are limited to 25.

Booking essential


Bookings and payments need to be made 3 days before each event for catering purposes. Your proof of payment is your entrance ticket. No Refunds.

Booking through Lynda Blanchard at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SAAJA banking details

ACCOUNT NO.: 072975059
BANK CODE: 025-009


Please note: PARKING

Please park at the Baxter Theatre or along Woolsack Drive. The parking at C G Jung Centre is reserved for presenters and caterers who have equipment and goods to unload/load.

Entrance to the Centre is via the gate on Main Road or via the gate on Linray Road

Thank you for your cooperation and we look forward to welcoming you at these film evenings.

Address: C G Jung Centre, 87 Main Road, Rosebank, Cape Town 7700
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone: +27 (0)21 689 6090
Office Hours: 8.30am – 1pm, Monday to Friday
Postal Address: P O Box 589, Rondebosch, 7701