September 7, 2018, 7:30 - 10:00 PM

A special content warning from Thomas Brod, Film & Mind Program Co-chair:

We start off the Fall program of the NCP Film & Mind Series with a shocking film, the 2009 Greek film by Yorgos Lanthrimos, Dogtooth (97 minutes). I’d call it XXX for frank (strange) sex and XX for violence (not overt, but again strange, and with two scenes of blood splatter on the wall). And single X for being weird: an unordinary family drama set in a strange alternate family reality.

Lanthimos has said that he germinated the film’s thesis from an idea that everything in modern culture is changing so much, what if contemporary parents decide to freeze family values to past values and isolate the children from the fluid culture? Believe me, it came out much weirder than it began!

Dogtooth is one film I would advise, do not read the plot summary on Wikipedia in advance: let the mysteries unfold before your not-quite-comprehending eyes. We will discuss the film when it finishes. Fortunately, our brilliant discussion leaders are capable of threading this fine needle. We will explore the concept of fantasy that flourishes in the face of overmanaged fear and aggression.

Yorgos Lanthimos’ film Dogtooth tells the story of a husband and wife who keep their children ignorant of the world outside their property well  into adulthood. The film exposes the pitfalls of a life in isolation of the expectations and prohibitions that organize the social link. It also sheds  light on some of the potentially strong experiences of growing into adolescence like extreme anger and intense sexual exposure that are usually repressed in the realm of culture.

Learning Objectives

As a result of attending this course, participants should be able to

  • Explain the role of language and consciousness (and the intimate relationship between the two) for the successful development from childhood into adolescence, and how this development can be inhibited
  • Apply the concept of fantasy, particularly to the difficulties in managing fear and aggression

Bettina Soestwohner, PhD, PsyD, holds a doctoral degree in Comparative Literature from UC Irvine. She is a Graduate Research Psychoanalyst and faculty member at the New Center for Psychoanalysis and a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Newport Psychoanalytic Institute. She is a member of the California Circle of the EFQ (Freudian School of Quebec) and of the IFLF (International Forums of the Lacanian Field.)  She has a private practice in Los Angeles.

Apurva Shah, MD, is a child and adolescent psychiatrist working for Kaiser Permanente in Palmdale. An Associate member of the New Center for Psychoanalysis, he is the co-coordinator of the Film and Mind Series. He is also the Founding Director and Faculty at the Antarnad Foundation, a not-for-profit psychoanalytic psychotherapy training program, in Ahmedabad, India. His primary interest, and the focus of most of his publications, is the interface of psychoanalysis and culture.


Target audience: Open to the public but mainly for mental health professionals

Level: Every Level


IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of this CME/CE program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.


PHYSICIANS: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the New Center for Psychoanalysis. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for the maximum of 2.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


PSYCHOLOGISTS: The New Center for Psychoanalysis is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. New Center for Psychoanalysis maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Full attendance is required for psychologists to receive credit; partial credit may not be awarded based on APA guidelines. For the psychologists’ records, certificates of attendance are provided at the completion of the course.


SOCIAL WORKERS, MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPISTS (LCSW, LMFT, ASW, IMF, LEP, LPCC, PCCI) The New Center for Psychoanalysis is a continuing education provider that has been approved by the American Psychological Association, a California Board of Behavioral Sciences recognized approval agency.


REGISTERED NURSES: The New Center for Psychoanalysis is an accredited provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (Provider #CEP1112). Registered Nurses may claim only the actual number of hours spent in the educational activity for credit.