The Scapegoat

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Date(s) - 02/02/2020
10:00 am - 1:30 pm

Hampstead Everyman Cinema


Screening of the 1959 adaptation of the Daphne du Maurier story:

The Scapegoat

This third Du Maurier film showing by the SAP takes as its central theme that of mistaken identity. Directed by Robert Hamer, du Maurier’s film adaptation of “The Scapegoat” first premiered in 1959. Du Maurier insisted on casting Alec Guinness in the starring dual roles as he reminded her of her father. She resisted MGM’s alternative choice of Cary Grant by forming a production company with Guinness to force through their preferences.

The story draws on two important dimensions of du Maurier’s awareness of the self’s complexity and her gender and sexual identity. One is her French ancestry and the other is the insight gained from her discovery of the works of Jung in the 1950s. She saw herself as two people, as the writer whose creativity stemmed from the hidden, “male” side of her nature (her “boy-in-the-box”) and as the woman who presented her “female” side to the outside world.

Du Maurier hints at the idea that the protagonists, John and Jean, play out two aspects of the same man. As a child, she experienced her father Gerald du Maurier as a certain presence on stage but a complex one off it, by turns possessive and neglectful of his daughter. This conception of split personalities, a good/bad man, is inextricably linked with her father. The dynamic between these men vividly illustrates Jung’s idea of “the Shadow”. John and Jean represent the hidden and repressed potential of the other. As their relationship evolves, these split off parts of the self come to light and we see the powerful healing effect that comes with their acceptance.

These aspects and more will be discussed in a panel following the film with Dr. Coline Covington (Jungian Analyst), Rupert Tower (Jungian Analyst and Grandson of the late Daphne du Maurier) and Christopher Perry (Chair/Jungian Analyst).

CPD event


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