1st Edition

Psychoanalytic Perspectives on the Films of Ingmar Bergman From Freud to Lacan and Beyond

Edited By Vanessa Sinclair Copyright 2023
    218 Pages
    by Routledge

    218 Pages
    by Routledge

    Psychoanalytic Perspectives on the Films of Ingmar Bergman presents a contemporary Freudian-Lacanian assessment of this classic director. This collection is the first to bring together this unique psychological perspective on Bergman’s work.

    While Bergman and his films have been written about throughout the decades, until now there has not been a collection anthologizing Freudian-Lacanian perspectives on his work. Vanessa Sinclair brings together an international community of scholars and practicing psychoanalysts – some of whom are also filmmakers – to reflect on Bergman’s films, life, and work in philosophical, historical, and cultural contexts. They assess individual films in depth, compare multiple films, and focus on Bergman’s life and work in a cultural context. This book includes chapters on seminal films including Persona and The Silence.

    Psychoanalytic Perspectives on the Films of Ingmar Bergman will be essential reading for academics and students of film studies, psychoanalytic theory, and Lacan, and of great interest to psychoanalysts and psychotherapists.


    Notes on Contributors

    Foreword: Cinema: The Pervert’s Chamber

    Mary Wild


    Vanessa Sinclair

    Chapter 1: The People Eaters are Having a Great Feast: Some Reflections on Ingmar Bergman’s Hour of the Wolf

    Carl Abrahamsson

    Chapter 2: The Cinematic Optical Unconscious of Bergman’s Persona

    Wayne Wapeemukwa

    Chapter 3: Fanny and Alexander, Hamlet, and the Ethical Unconscious

    Robert Samuels

    Chapter 4: Island Earth: Bergman, Brahe, and the Many Suns

    Patrick Scanlon

    Chapter 5: The Truth about The Silence: Ingmar Bergman’s Masterpiece about the World

    Peter Jansson

    Chapter 6: Three Sisters: Sibling Knots in Bergman’s Cries and Whispers

    Andrea Sabbadini

    Chapter 7: The Seventh Seal: Bergman and the Frenchmen

    S. Alfonso Williams

    Chapter 8: Serpentine Conceptual Autophagia: Lesbian Contrapuntal Dialectics in Persona and The Silence

    Alireza Taheri

    Chapter 9: The Father(s) in Moses and Monotheism and Fanny and Alexander: A Closer Look at Isak Jacobi, the Jewish Magical Savior

    Elisabeth Punzi

    Chapter 10: Prolegomena to Persona: As Existential Psychoanalysis

    Walter A. Davis

    Chapter 11: Beyond Silence: On the Absence of God in the Films of Ingmar Bergman

    Pablo Lerner


    Vanessa Sinclair, PsyD is a psychoanalyst based in Vimmerby, Sweden. Dr. Sinclair is Senior Research Fellow at Global Centre for Advanced Studies (GCAS) – Dublin, founding member of Das Unbehagen: A Free Association for Psychoanalysis – New York, and the host of Rendering Unconscious Podcast.

    "The book titled "Psychoanalytic Perspectives on the Films of Ingmar Bergman: A Freudian-Lacanian Lens" edited by Vanessa Sinclair represents a particularly interesting contribution considering Igmar Bergman’s works. Through well conducted Freudian-Lacanian analyses, the authors involved in the work presented new perspectives increasing the psychodynamic impact of Bergman’s pieces. In particular, some specific themes as in the case of perversion, neurosis, psychosis, ethics and sexuality, as well as literary references, are read through the above-mentioned lens in order to establish deep contacts with clinical and dynamic emergencies. As a valuable contribution, the book proposes relevant perspectives from high level professionals, providing for a clear and considerable view of psychoanalytical impact and valour."- Emanuele Maria Merlo PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Contract Professor of Clinical Psychology for Department of Human and Pediatric Pathology "Gaetano Barresi" and Department of Cognitive Sciences, Education and Cultural Studies of the University of Messina, Freudian-Lacanian psychoanalytic approach, Clinical Advisor for Software Engineering Italia.

    "Ingmar Bergman is acknowledged as one of the world’s greatest film-makers. Vanessa Sinclair has assembled a wide-ranging and stimulating volume of essays by psychoanalysts, scholars and film-makers that for the first time focuses on ways in which psychoanalysis from Freud to Lacan and beyond can help illuminate Bergman’s films. Life, death,identity, sexual and family relationships come under fascinating psychoanalytical scrutiny in discussions of Bergman’s dreamlike art. This is a volume that will be essential reading for anyone seriously interested both in Bergman’s films and in cinema’s potential for the exploration of creativity, denial and desire."- Peter William Evans, Emeritus Professor of Film, Queen Mary University of London