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Screening and discussion of Antigone, director Sophie Deraspe. Birkbeck Counselling Centre

Venue: Birkbeck 43 Gordon Square

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Screening and discussion of Antigone, director Sophie Deraspe. Birkbeck Counselling Centre

Antigone (Dir, Sophie Deraspe, 2019, France)

Migrating Identities: the other, my culture, myself though a psychoanalytical lens

Chair: Clea Mcenery West (Director of Birkbeck Counselling and Psychotherapy Centre)

Panel members: Andrea Sabbadini (psychoanalyst), Paul Terry (clinical psychologist) and Mandy Merck (academic - film studies and feminism)


Antigone is a 16-year-old girl who came to Canada from Algeria as a child with some of her family. While she excels at school, her two brothers have turned to crime. When one ends up in jail and is threatened with deportation, she comes up with a plan to have him released, which gets her into trouble.

A modern adaptation of the Greek tragedy, in which a young woman with an indestructible love of family and justice takes on the authorities. This classic, universal struggle is primarily fought out on social media. The warm solidarity in the viral world, depicted by video-like impressions, contrasts markedly with the system's cold rules. Antigone is a beacon of hope, who with her independent character commands respect and starts a movement in which humanity trumps fear and indifference.

This event has been created in partnership with the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Mental Health (CIRMH) and the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image (BIMI). Find out more about BIMI here.


Biographies for panel members

Paul Terry currently works in private practice. During his career in the NHS he worked in child, adolescent, adult mental health, forensic settings, and latterly in a specialist mental health service for older people. For many years, in tandem with clinical practice, he was Lecturer in Counselling at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has published extensively about using psychoanalysis in clinical work and in thinking about social and political issues.

Andrea Sabbadini is a Chartered Psychologist and a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society, working in private practice in London. He is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at University College London (UCL), a Consultant to the IPA in Culture committee, and the founder and former Director of the European Psychoanalytic Film Festival (epff). He was the founder Editor of the journal Psychoanalysis and History and was for several years the Book Review Editor, and then the Film Review Editor, of The International Journal of Psychoanalysis. His books include Moving Images: Psychoanalytic Reflections on Film (2014)

Mandy Merck is Professor Emerita of Media Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her latest book is ‘Cinema’s Melodramatic Celebrity: Film, Fame and Personal Worth’ (BFI / Bloomsbury). Her next is ‘Downsizing: Film and the Miniature’.

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