Vamik’s Room (dir. Molly Castelloe)
Vamik Volkan, the scholar most renowned for bringing psychoanalysis into international diplomacy, exhibits a preternatural calm as he walks onto the stage of various troubled regions of the world. Molly Castelloe’s new documentary, Vamik’s Room, captures some of that palpable calm and the spirit that animates this extraordinary man. The film intercuts interviews with Volkan on his key concepts and archival footage from the various global hotspots where he consulted over three decades. The film has the feeling of a riveting keynote address – one that is both didactic and viscerally engaging. It is not until the end of the film that the meaning of the title is revealed. Vamik’s “room” serves as a metaphor for finding comfort in bitterly divided places and as a touching story about an expression of gratitude to him personally by people rebuilding their shattered lives.
The film opens with the voice of Volkan, identifying himself as a Turkish Cypriot and child of the decades-long conflict...
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