Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
The contemporary turn of psychoanalytic film analysis has opened a new mode of understanding cinematic language. However, rejecting classical psychoanalysis would be premature. This thesis will place the two in conjunction, specifically through Sigmund Freud’s conceptualization of moral masochism and Wilfred Bion’s theory of thinking. Through four films: Una, The Tale, The Tribe, and Son of Saul I explore the affective nature of films that depict trauma and why one would gravitate towards such upsetting material. The spectator who seeks to be frustrated is not looking to harm oneself but to process this frustration in order to expand their emotional experience.
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Smith, Kira, "Inflicted Viewing: Examining Moral Masochism, Empathy, and the Frustration of Trauma Cinema" (2019). Film Studies (MA) Theses. 6.