Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To keep track of most cited articles…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

You can always keep track of the Most Cited Journal Articles on PEP Web by checking the PEP Section found on the homepage.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Epstein, O.B. (2016). Force Majeure, Director Ruben Ă–stlund, 2014. Att: New Dir. in Psychother. Relat. Psychoanal., 10(1):47-49.

(2016). Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 10(1):47-49

Film Reviews

Force Majeure, Director Ruben Östlund, 2014

Review by:
Orit Badouk Epstein

In this atmospheric family drama, a Swedish family of four travels to the French Alps to enjoy a skiing holiday. On their second day at the resort, while sitting for lunch in a scenic sunny Alpine restaurant, an avalanche suddenly occurs, filmed in a single, breath-taking take. At this moment chaos erupts, with diners fleeing for their lives in all directions. The mother, Ebba, calls for her husband, Tomas, while she tries to protect their children. Tomas meanwhile grabs his cell phone and runs away.

It is from this frenzied moment that things unfold subtly in front of us. After Tomas has run away from the avalanche, it turns out that, what had appeared as a catastrophe, was just a side effect of a controlled explosion and the avalanche had stopped well short of the restaurant. But what it has actually done is to expose his selfish and cowardly behaviour. This heart-stopping moment, which lasts less than five minutes, determines what takes place next. Ebba cannot get over what has happened. The children, looking upset and fearful, are the first to notice their father's abandonment and distressed by this traumatic experience later communicate this as the marriage buckles under the strain. What could have been a catastrophic event has turned into an internal torment for a family who on the surface seemed to be perfectly happy and ordinary.

In the aftermath, unable to fully acknowledge what happened, the family spend the remainder of their holiday imprisoned in their claustrophobic hotel room and relive their trauma in some dissociative bubble. Lit by the eerie, blue light from the snow outside, the room changes colour according to the time of day, from a pale grey to a darker charcoal colour; leaving the viewer feeling just as trapped as this confused family.

Tomas tries to redeem himself but things seem to be irreparably broken and the family finds it difficult to come to terms with the psychological impact and its consequences upon them. It takes them a while to express what took place.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the article. PEP-Web provides full-text search of the complete articles for current and archive content, but only the abstracts are displayed for current content, due to contractual obligations with the journal publishers. For details on how to read the full text of 2016 and more current articles see the publishers official website.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.