28 February: The Shape of Water
Run time: 2H 3Min
From master story teller, Guillermo del Toro, comes The Shape of Water – an other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. It can’t be an accident that The Story of Ruth is invoked in The Shape of Water, a film about the kind of love in which we both abandon ourselves and discover our true selves in the same moment. And del Toro imbues that idea with an additional insight: To love another, we have to learn to see the ways they’re different from us as well as the ways we’re profoundly the same. What The Shape of Water has to teach, however subtly, is much needed in a prejudiced world. It paints borders rooted deep in the human soul — between countries, races, abilities, and desires — with compassion and gentleness.
24 April: Changeling
Run Time: 2H 22Min
“Changeling” is a 2008 film depicting a true story which took place in California during the 1920s. It stars Angelina Jolie and John Malkovich, and was directed by Clint Eastwood, produced by Ron Howard, and written by J. Michael Straczynski, based on original source archive material. Through dramatizing the disappearance of a nine-year-old boy and the Los Angeles police department’s return of a different boy to his single mother, the film explores themes of child endangerment, patriarchal disempowerment of women, the psychological effects of police corruption, the mistreatment of mental hospital patients, and the emotional, psychological and physical repercussions of violence. Resilience in the face of trauma which includes the powerful manipulation of one’s sense of reality is illustrated in Jolie’s impressive and inspiring performance as the boy’s mother.
12 June: Lion (Ethics points applied for)
Run time: 2H 9Min
Based on the autobiographical book by Saroo Brierley, A Long Way Home, Lion tells the true story of how Brierley, 25 years after being separated from his family in Burhanpur, sets out to find them. Lion is the story of a life lost and found. This compelling film addresses the plight of the dispossessed; being lost as a child (five-year- old Saroo) unable to find his way home; the harrowing experiences of street life in a large city like Calcutta; resilience and the capacity to survive adverse circumstances; the cruelty of some adults towards children; the kindness of some other adults toward the plight of the child; adoption and some of the possible difficulties involved; displacement from one’s culture across international boundaries; adaptation to a foreign culture; the search for “home”; the anguish of not finding one’s roots, and then Saroo’s joy at being reunited with his biological mother. Click here for event details.
14 August: I, Tonya
Run time: 2H 1Min
I, Tonya is based on the true story of how Tonya Harding ceased to be famous for figure skating and became infamous instead, following an attack on her skating rival, Nancy Kerrigan. A media frenzy erupted, continuing throughout that year’s Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, where both women competed, before the disgraced skater was banned from major competition for good. The movie explores themes of class difference and the discrimination that goes with that, violence towards children and women, and the resilience of the main character in the face of these odds that are stacked against her. Steven Rogers’s screenplay ensures that we never lose sight of her status as a survivor, someone seeking love and adoration in a world full of aggression, who habitually finds herself on the wrong end of a fist.
16 October: Manchester by the Sea
Running Time: 2H 17Min
Manchester by the Sea, a 2017 “masterpiece” “composed in an inexpressibly sad minor key” (P. Bradshaw, The Guardian, 12 January 2017), explores themes of loss, complicated bereavement, trauma, and the “irreparable wrongness of life.” (Ibid.) Directed by Kenneth Lonergan and starring Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, and Lucas O’Brien, this film tells the story of Lee Chandler, who is called away from his solitary life as a janitor in Boston to his home town, the fishing village of Manchester, Massachusetts. His brother has died and he finds himself the sole guardian of his 16-year-old nephew Patrick. Why Lee resists this responsibility and refuses to move back to Manchester gradually becomes evident from the present-day narrative and a series of brilliantly interwoven flashbacks to the events that caused Lee to leave his home.
27 November: The Dressmaker
Runtime: 1H 59Min
The Dressmaker is a 2015 Australian film written and directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse, based on the 2000 novel of the same name by Rosalie Ham.
This film is about the healing of trauma inflicted on a young girl (Tilly) by a bully, Steward. Steward dies and Tilly is blamed for his death. This results in the local policeman exiling her from the town. Years later, she returns to the small town ostensibly seeking revenge but instead, confronts her trauma and the demons that haunt her. This film addresses the repercussions of unaddressed trauma and the journey of potential healing. Issues related to the toxic effects of the patriarchy, abuse of the feminine, rigid gender binaries and betrayal are addressed. In confronting her past, transformation occurs both for Tilly and for the policeman who confronts the patriarchy and takes responsibility for his previous behaviour. The rich symbolism throughout this film will be explored.
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: 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 has served as secretary of SAAJA and is a training analyst.