Thursday, November 18, 2004 – 7:30 pm
USA 2003. Director: Amie Siegel

Empathy is a multilayered film that is part documentary and part fiction. Interspersed with interviews with three psychoanalysts (all, and likely not coincidentally, older white males), is the fictional depiction of an actress named Lia (Gigi Buffington) in psychoanalysis as well as the screen tests of actresses auditioning for the role of Lia. At one point, there is also a mini-documentary about postmodern architecture. If this all sounds complicated and slightly confusing – it is. The central drama revolves around Lia’s depression. But the director Siegel is a poet and artist who appears to be more concerned with ideas than a coherent and linear plot. And indeed the provocative questions to the analysts (“Do you ever lie to patients? Is the analytic profession voyeuristic?”) do lead to illuminating, if not always, reassuring responses on aspects of the analytic process as well as the relationship between therapist and patient. Empathy is a playful film that will definitely intrigue analysts and those in therapy. Ultimately, however, the detached and subtly derisive tone of the film seems to match the Director’s intentional and unempathic depiction of psychoanalysis itself.
Colour, 35 mm, 92 mins.

The program will include a post-screening discussion with:
Dr. Endre Koritar.
Dr. Koritar is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst affiliated with the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society and a Clinical Assistant Professor, Dept of Psychiatry, UBC. He has an active practice in the treatment of both “brain” and “mind” disorders.

Evening moderated by:
Dr. Harry Karlinsky
Director of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.

Co-sponsored by the Western Branch of the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society