This new (yet to be publicly released) film documentary is interesting and provocative, and deals with fear/terror in a way most films would never touch. Independent filmmaker (Editor-Director) Laura Dunn 2024 has produced (with Marie Becker and DOP Jef Sewell) something very important for our future of understanding ourselves as a species in this amazing universe. I watched a virtual showing the other night. The opening lines, from an interview in 1973 with Sam Keen (writing for Psychology Today magazine) and Ernest Becker (who is laying on his death bed in a Vancouver hospital) are worth quoting below, as is Keen's recent reflecting on his experience with Becker and his legacy of work in cultural anthropology and philosophy.

12526688898?profile=RESIZE_710xSam Keen.

[Here is how the text of the film unfolds:] 

Keen: Certainly, a lot of people would ask [you], is it accidental that you became fascinated with the topic of death? Or, is this a premonition [of your own eventual death]? 

Becker: No, it has nothing to do with myself. I came upon the idea of the denial of death strictly from the logical imperatives of all of my other work. I discovered, that in fact, fear of life and death are the mainsprings of human activity. And then everything can be explained from those fears. [1] This was the ultimate idea, and everything rduced itself to it. This was the ultimate economic simplification.

[from the separate recent interview by Dunn with Keen]: You know Becker is a hard read....You can't read Becker without dealing with your own darkness.

[unknown source by Becker]: There is nothing for the intellectual to do today, in the world mess, except to elaborate his [sic] picture of what it means to be a man....That man is an animal that holds up a mirror to himself, showing himself what he is. If he does this in an entirely honest way, then he becomes an interesting animal, an animal with possibilities. But just to run driven without stopping, without elaborating some kind of image, without showing oneself what one is, this makes a creature very anxious." 

[from the separate recent interview by Dun with Keen:] "Every man is paranoid, and why are we paranoid? Because the world is terrifying!"  


[for one of my past FM blogs on Becker


1. This is a 'theory of everything' (human, at least). It is a powerful theory of the (new) psychology of humans, that Becker was working on as an anthropologist, who studied across disciplines, and yet he brought his anthropology and philosophy together to apply it to such a new psychology of humans, which boils down to a new psychology of fear and humans.  




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