The Ernest Becker Foundation
|"The Wall" to be discussed on 25th by Judith Lipton|
|Monday, 01 February 1999 03:00|
Come see, discuss, and begin to understand Roger Water's musical masterpiece, Pink Floyd's The Wall. Judith Lipton, M.D., psychiatrist and author, will provide a background and context for you to see and experience one of the most powerful theatrical experiences of the twentieth century.
Maintaining that this is one of the best "peace movies" in existence, Dr. Lipton will show how The Wall can be interpreted as a text for understanding the impact of war on individual psychology. She will also help viewers understand the origin of chronic post-traumatic stress disorders and the metamorphosis of early childhood experiences of war and suffering into the psychopathology of adulthood. The Wall illustrates the origins of hatred and fanaticism, and yet concludes with hope for peace and transformation.
A short movie (95 minutes), The Wall, released in 1979 and no longer in print, is now considered a cult classic. Experimental in execution, it integrates an intense story with a rock-n-roll soundtrack and vivid animations.
Most people who grew up in the '70s and '80s will be familiar with the songs from The Wall, especially "We don't need no education...," the pounding theme song that was a hit of the early '80s. The film was blamed for inciting young people to rebel, use drugs, and even commit suicide. Many watched The Wall either on LSD or to learn about the effects of LSD, since the movie includes animation scenes that are very much like LSD hallucinations.
In brief, The Wall is the story of a character named "Pink," presumably Pink Floyd himself, or Roger Water's alter ego. Pink's father dies in World War II, and he is raised by his mother and the British public school system. He becomes a rock musician, gets married, and enjoys success until his wife has an affair. Her betrayal plunges him into a hell from which he emerges a skinhead and neo-nazi. We won't give away the end.
Please come prepared for an intense emotional experience. The R-rated movie will be shown in its entirety, followed by a short break before discussion. Feel free to bring popcorn or a drink. The discussion will be interactive and, we hope, cathartic.
About the Speaker:
Judith Eve Lipton, M.D. is a psychiatrist, author and speaker. She founded the Washington State Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility in 1979, was president of that chapter until 1983, and currently serves as its President Emeritus. She has also been active on the National Board of Directors of Physicians for Social Responsibility (1981-1986) and was the US representative to the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War in 1982 (IPPNW), a group which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985.
She has coauthored three books with her husband, David Barash, who is professor of psychology and zoology at the University of Washington. Stop Nuclear War! A Handbook was nominated for an American Book award in 1983. The Caveman and the Bomb: Human Nature, Evolution, and Nuclear War explored psychological causes of the arms race from an evolutionary viewpoint. Making Sense of Sex: How Genes and Gender Influence Relationships, was published by Island Press in 1997.
In 1987 she attended an international conference on preventing nuclear war at the Kremlin, organized by President Gorbachev. As she said: "I planned to give him [Gorbachev] a copy of Caveman as a gift, so I took it with me to the final proceedings. I did meet Raisa and got close to Gorbachev, but not close enough. However, before leaving the Kremlin, a tall, sveldt ballerina came to my rescue, offering to give him the book when next she saw him.
Two years later, a Candian photojournalist, Robert Del Tredici, called to ask if we had written The Caveman and the Bomb. He had been in Moscow, researching a book on the Soviet nuclear industry, and had been told that President Gorbachev had somehow gotten hold of a book called something like "Cave Men and Bombs," had it translated into Russian, and "it had influenced his thinking very much"!!!