Film Showing & Psychoanalysis in Peru

This Film & Psychoanalysis Show has been going on in Lima since 2007. The idea was concocted by Pilar Gavilano, member of the Peruvian Society of Psychoanalysis, given the simultaneity of a Peruvian psychoanalytic congress on Eros, Love and Sexuality. Thus the first theme of the film show was “Eros in Film” within pre-congress activities.

It was a tough beginning. The real push came from the Cultural Center of the PUCP, Peru´s Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, one of the finest universities in Peru.

Anyway, it proved to be an extremely valuable link. This person took up the idea of Psychoanalysis & Film and expanded it to a network of university institutions plus the Spanish Cultural Center in Lima, which even intervened as a co-organizer and sponsor. This action allowed for paper advertizing.

Andrea Sabbadini, organizer of the European Psychoanalytic Film Festival, advised Pilar Gavilano on film selection. The initial show included 19 films.

After each movie proyection a film forum follows. The idea is to open a space for the discussion of the films, conducted by one or two members or candidates from the Peruvian Society of Psychoanalysis. The actual mode may vary: in some cases it may start by analysts reading some thoughts on the film after which the audience participates; or the public may begin exposing their own thoughts and comentators follow. Very animated discussions are held.

A first very successful first show triggered a second one named: Dreams in Film. The event has become an annual expectancy. Every other year it coincides with the congress in our society. In these cases the theme will be made the same as the subject of the congress. When it doesn´t Pilar Gavilano and her team choose the theme themselves. Additional titles for the shows have been: “The Father in Film”, “The Mother in Film”, “ The Couch in Film”, and the most recent one: “Young people in Film.”

Pilar Gavilano, still at the heart of the Film & Psychoanalysis Shows tries to incorporate more and more members and candidates into organizing each show, since each year there is a visible growth of the Show: more venues are included, the audience gets numerous. The atmosphere gets very lively among psychoanalysts around this; many colleagues love to participate. Several months before the show Pilar starts asking for volunteers who are willing to think about the new theme. Once this step is concluded, the job focuses on locating a large number of films for the elected theme. Up to seventy films may be selected at first. They go through a first screening. After that the films are distributed among volunteering colleagues who watch them and fill out a survey which helps elaborate a final selection. The idea is to have very good movies, which have not been much exposed to the Lima public, which include different directors, genders and countries and will make for a psychoanalytically informed discussion.

As I said, the number of locations for the shows keep growing every year; two years ago the show expanded to other cities outside of Lima. However, it must be said that  the shows outside of Lima have no commentators yet, due to lack of financiation for them.

In all these years aside from the Sociedad Peruana de Psicoanálisis and the Filmoteca de la PUCP, the following organizations have participated:  the Centro Cultural de España, the Centro Cultural de la PUCP, the Ventana Indiscreta of the Universidad de Lima, the film club of the Universidad San Martín de Porres, the Universidad del Pacífico, the Centro Cultural Aduni CECAD, the Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas, the Universidad Agraria de La Molina, the film club of the Central Reserve Bank, Film and TV of the Universidad de San Marcos, the Cultural Center of Vichama de Villa el Salvador, the Cultural Center of  the Municipalidad de Ate, the Cultural Center of the Municipalidad de Miraflores, the Alianza Francesa de Miraflores. Starting this year the Master´s Degree in Theoretical Studies in Psychoanalysis of the PUCP has joined in as an organizer.

Also in provinces, the Instituto Nacional de Cultura de San Martín, Estudio Club of Cusco, the Cultural Center of the Universidad Nacional San Cristóbal de Huamanga ( Ayacucho ), the Private Northern University — Trujillo y Cajamarca, the Alianza Francesa of Arequipa and Cusco,  and the Santo Domingo Convent in Cusco.

The decisive push for this expanding stamina come from the Cultural Center of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, and its link with us, the Peruvian Society of Psychoanalysis.

The attendance has been growing ever since the shows started. We don´t have the numbers for other years. This last show has registered roughly fourty or fifty people for each venue. Altogether over three thousand people have attended the Show this year.

The attending audience is varied. One can mostly see people not linked professionally to psychoanalysis. There are several psychologists and psychotherapists, but they tend to be low in attending. There are people from all age groups : young people, adults, students, professionals, housewives, retired people and kids! Every year we organize a film forum for kids at the Cultural Center of Spain ( Lima ), which is in charge of two child psychoanalysts. First a cartoon movie related to the theme of the show is exhibited, after which conversation is opened. This is a special moment: kids tend to be great participants, as well as their parents. Other forums cater to different audiences. For example at the University of Lima attendees are mostly college students or teachers. At the Cultural Center of the PUCP attendees are film fans and interested in the psychoanalytic discussion itself, which is not to say that they are well informed on psychoanalysis and that they tend to confuse with psychology or psychotherapy. The atmosphere is very amiable and lively, very participative. People speak up what they think, ask and discuss.  Pilar and her team prepare a yearly brochure whice introduces the theme, and relates film, psychoanalysis and the particular theme of the show. Then comes specific information of the comentators and a summary of the films with a psychoanalytic twist when possible. Pilar Gavilano acknowledges: “ In all this I think I am transmiting an interest and curiosity for psychoanalysis.”

In some venues we have met some psychiatrist or cognitivist who will criticize psychoanalysis, but this is uncommon. Also on rare occassions we have found people among the audience who confuse the forums and will make personal consultations. There has been a record of a very disturbed person, but this was an exception.

It is an activity that is already part of what people expect to happen. People start asking months in advance about the theme of this year. And each year more institutions want to be included as participants.

Explore posts in the same categories: Audio/Video, Movies

One Comment on “Film Showing & Psychoanalysis in Peru”

  1. Bennett Roth PhD Says:

    Hi I have written on the wonderful film Pan’s Labyrinth. Please invite me to Peru to Present at your festival . I am in NYC

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