35 Shots of Rum

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Chris Howson ENGL& 101 Symptomatic Meaning in Film The relationship between a father and a daughter is a, quite arguably, the strongest in a family. A daughter will do anything to please her father, while a father will do everything in his power to protect his daughter. This father-daughter relationship is the focal point of Claire Denis’ film, 35 Shots of Rum. This film depicts a widower father – Lionel – who must raise his daughter Josephine, all without the help of his dead wife. The two develop a magnetic bond which is tested by two love interests: Noé, the boy next door; and Gabrielle, the sometimes annoying neighbor and hopeless former lover of Lionel. The love Lionel and Josephine share is a strangely close relationship. At Josephine’s age, girls should be dying to escape from their father; however, the lack of that desire makes their relationship curious. The relationship Josephine and her father share make it difficult for her to move on with her life, as she is seemingly glued to her father. In the film 35 Shots of Rum, Claire Denis uses a number of subtle hints to illustrate the relationship between Lionel and Josephine as being formed from the residue of Josephine’s Electra complex: the idea that Josephine has a sexual attraction to her father. In three scenes in particular, we see this psychological problem manifest itself. We see Josephine showing some pretty serious feelings for her father, reject Noé due to her love of her father, and ultimately we see Josephine suppress these feelings. The Electra complex is a psychological theory developed by Carl Gustav Jung and Sigmund Freud that addresses a young girl’s psychosexual relationship with her father – this theory is analogous to the Oedipus complex. Like the Oedipus complex, the Electra complex gets its name from Greek mythology. In the fifth century BC Electra

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