On Replacement pp 161-167 | Cite as

Deadness, replacement and the divinely new: 45 Years

  • Andrew Asibong


This chapter explores Andrew Haigh’s 2015 film 45 Years as a psychoanalytically informative portrait of a married woman’s internal disintegration when faced with the fantasy (and possibly the reality) of having been psychically ‘replaced’ by her husband’s preoccupation with the memory of his dead (and literally frozen) former girlfriend. Drawing on André Green’s ‘dead mother’ theory and W. R. D. Fairbairn’s concept of internally rivalrous ‘sub-egos’, as well as more recent psychoanalytic writing on traumatic envy and psychical transformation, the chapter reveals Haigh’s film as a potential cinematic ‘working-through’ of a particularly painful emotional configuration, one exemplified by the married woman’s deadened self-conceptualisation, which may ultimately give way to a more flowing and ‘alive’ relationality as it emerges from its frozen, self-annihilating impasse.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Asibong
    • 1
  1. 1.Birkbeck, University of LondonLondonUK

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