Reviewed Books & Films

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Seeing Our Shadow Side in Films

APA Roman Polanski, the controversial filmmaker, recently adapted the play God of Carnage into a film, Carnage. It's a fascinating, raw, yet realistic film about two couples who meet to discuss an altercation between their sons. This discussion soon leads to subtle and very direct confrontation between the parents and a situation in which each character affronts the others in a harmful way. The deteriorating interactions between the families are troubling and the tension palpable.

Despite the negativism, the film is incredibly engaging and interesting. How could viewers use the film to enhance their own communication skills?

In their review of the film, Dana Dunn and Sarah Sacks Dunn assert that, despite the despicable behavior of these characters, every viewer has some degree of each of the four characters within himself or herself. However, if we accept this fact, we can use the film, or others like it, for personal growth.

What movie characters in history do you resonate with the most? Do you see parts of yourself in their shadow side?

Read the Review
ReviewNarcissists Are Us?
By Dana S. Dunn and Sarah Sacks Dunn
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2012 Vol 57(48)


Lauren Seifert

I appreciated your review and the reference to Freud's (1930/auf Deutsch) treatise. I found this film to be centered on self-absorption, as well. I was reminded of Luis Bunuel's (1962) El Angel Exterminador...where people seem to be so self-absorbed that they become trapped in narcissism and aggress against each other. In the film Carnage, it seems as if the characters' confinement is of their own making, just as it was for the characters in Bunuel's classic, dark film.

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Editor of PsycCRITIQUES

Danny Wedding, PhD

Chair of Behavioral Sciences,
College of Medicine,
American University of Antigua

Associate Editors of PsycCRITIQUES

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