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Künstlicher, A.H. (2017). Life’s frailty – on fundamentalistic bonds in Haneke’s film Amour. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 40(1):63-68.

(2017). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 40(1):63-68

Life’s frailty – on fundamentalistic bonds in Haneke’s film Amour

Review by:
Annika Hirdman Künstlicher

My essay is centred upon Michael Haneke’s film Amour (2012), which revolves around the experiences of an 80-year-old musician couple, George and Anne. The relationship is severely tested as a result of Anne suffering a stroke. The director stakes out questions that explore the potential boundaries for our dignity and love. Using vignettes from the film, I will shed light on the manner in which life becomes restricted, as the object of our love vanishes. A central theme of the film is the collapsing of the mourning process that seeks a resolution in the choice between life and death. In the article, I will attempt to explain it in terms of an incorporation of the lost object of love that has as its purpose to preserve this bond, an incorporation that assumes a physical, concrete form characterised by disorientation, as a defence against catastrophic change. The article furthermore touches upon the concept of the third in the sense that Britton uses it, as something that may reconcile and provide meaning, but which in this case has ceased to function as a symbolic glue. An expression of failure in the process of mourning emerges in a form of a distorted neoreality, with confusion and disorientation as ingredients, to avoid the pain of reality.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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