Film and Mind Online: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

April 23, 2021, 7:00 - 10:15 PM

Join NCP as we take our Film and Mind series online!


images/MRBB_Pic.jpegMa Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020) (1hr 34 min) August Wilson’s play (and now the film) Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is set in Chicago in the 1920s, but the electricity flows in today’s lines. The story develops from historic exploitation of black recording artists by white producers, yet the treatment of the issues of race, art and religion echo highly relevant contemporary psychological concerns. Directed by George C. Wolfe, the film stars Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman. The title is inspired by Ma Rainey's song, which refers to the Black Bottom dance. Rainey, whose life as a well-known blues singer of the 1920s is the inspiration for the story, is the titular character. 

*Streaming is available on Netflix (link below)

Space is limited to 25 participants. 

Registration will be open until 4:30 PM on the day of the event. We cannot take registrations after this time. 



** This movie is only available on Netflix

*** All times listed are Pacific Time (PT)

7:00 PM - 8:35 PM: Group viewing of the movie with a silent chat. We will join the Zoom meeting and press "play" simultaneously to watch the movie together. Please purchase the movie before joining the meeting. (Viewing with the group is optional. You can purchase and watch prior to this and still participate in the discussion.) No credit

8:45 PM - 10:15 PM: Discussion begins. We will hear from our discussants and explore the film together. 

1.5 CE/CME credits


Learning Objectives:

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

  • Differentiate normal versus pathological (compulsive) creative acts and their contexts

  • Explain the dynamic group tension as multiple individuals attempt to work together under racial pressure to manifest a position that manages the tension coming with differing ideals

  • Recognize the conscious and unconscious compromises, including disavowal of needs and the diminishing of self, in patients who search desperately for acceptance and connection—within the self and with others



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.

Chris Walling, PsyD, MBA, is a licensed clinical psychologist and an active leader in the biobehavioral sciences. His work integrates the developmental, neurobiological, and somatic aspects of the lifespan. His work in academic medicine has included the administration of multidisciplinary leadership teams in hematology-oncology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and geriatric psychiatry at some of the top academic medical centers in the United States. Dr. Walling is the President of the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy, the hub of somatic psychology, and Associate-Deputy Editor for the International Body Psychotherapy Journal. His clinical focus in the behavioral sciences has examined the intersections of neuro-psychotherapy, affect regulation, and body psychology. Dr. Walling is a Clinical Associate at the New Center for Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles, California. He is currently a Clinical Research Research Fellow at the Kinsey Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University where he is working with the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium on advancing the science of body psychotherapy and trauma psychology. 

Discussion Moderator: Thomas M. Brod, MD. Dr. Brod coordinates the NCP Film & Mind Program with Apurva Shah, MD.


Target audience: Mental health professionals and open to the public interested in psychoanalytic perspectives. Open to members and the community.

Level: Every level.

1.5 CE/CME Credits

$15 with CE Credit

$7 without Credit 


This is an online event. What you need to know:

  • Registration is limited to 25 people.
  • Register below and you will get an email with the Zoom link. The Zoom link will also be sent on the day of the event after 4:30 PM
  • You can join other attendees to watch the film "together" (in your own home) at 6:45 pm and even silently comment in the Zoom Meeting “chat” function, or watch it on your own beforehand.
  • The official discussion will start at 8:45 pm in the Zoom Meeting room.
  • We cannot provide technical support for the viewing of the movie, but will be in the Zoom meeting to help facilitate the discussion.  


Where to get the movie:


"How do I get my CE/CME Credit?"

  1. Pre-Register below
    • If you are registering for the first time you will receive a welcome email. You must follow the directions in this email to complete your registration in order to access your certificates. 
  2. Sign in and sign out during the event (by typing your full name into the chat). This is how we record your attendance at the event.
  3. You will receive an email with an evaluation 2 days after the event
  4. Complete the evaluation
  5. Wait 2 business days
  6. Download your Certificate on the NCP website



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 1.5 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 and 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.

Continuing Education Policies and Information