Culture, Listings, Screen

“The spirit of the beehive”

The Institute of Psychoanalysis is screening the Spanish film “El espíritu de la Colmena” (The Spirit of the Beehive) with an accompanying discussion on the psychological issues surrounding childhood.

The feature film, directed by Víctor Érice in 1974, offers a view of post-war Spain seen through the eyes of sisters Isabel and Ana, who, having seen the film “Frankenstein” become fascinated by James Wale’s story.

The two girls’ individual characters and personalities give them each a different experience of the film: Isabel understands the fictional nature of cinema, whereas for Ana, Frankenstein becomes a character to fear in reality.

After the screening of “The Spirit of the Beehive” there will be the opportunity reflect upon and analyse the film’s themes from a psychoanalytical perspective.

Leading the debate will be Peter Evans, professor of Film Studies at Queen Mary University of London, and Andrea Sabbadini, director of Screening Conditions and the European Psychoanalytic Film Festival.

The Spanish film is being shown as part of the series “Screening Conditions – Troubled Children”, organised by Institute of Psychoanalysis to explore the relationship between cinema and the mental and psychological issues faced by children and adolescents.

The series will continue on 24th February with a screening of “Mila from Mars”, directed by Zornitsa Sophia, and on 17th March with “The Kid with a Bike”, by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.

Continuing the theme, psychoanalyst Hannah Solemani along with psychiatrist Dickon Bevington will explore the theory of the Oedipus complex in adolescents, on the 26th January.

The event, chaired by psychoanalyst Catalina Bronstein, will provide a forum to examine the theory of the child’s unconscious desire to possess the parent of the opposite sex.

“The Spirit of the Beehive” will be shown on 20th January at 10am at the Institute for Contemporary Arts (ICA), located on The Mall, London, SWY 5AH.

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(Translated by Claudia Rennie, email:

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