‘Vamik’s Room’: Directed by filmmaker Molly Castelloe
Vamik’s Room is an award winning documentary about the life and work of Vamik Volkan. Volkan is at the head of his field in the subject of group psychology and is a renowned psychoanalyst who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times. He based his research around enemy factions around the world over the course of his forty year-long career.
Volkan is a widely respected expert on trauma related unresolved grief, especially as it’s exemplified in Serbia under the rule of Slobodan Milošević in 1989. His work has been used in the application of international conflict resolution and has created a central role for Vamik Volkan in some of the world’s “key hot spots” of group emotion.
Volkan began his life as a young boy growing up in the war torn & ethnically divided Cypress. You can view the trailer for Vamik’s Room on the documentary’s website.
The director of Vamik’s Room, Molly Castello, first learned of Vamik Volkan’s work when she was studying at New York University obtaining a doctor in Performance studies with a focus on theater and psychology. Castello was captivated by Volkan’s ideas about shared experience of historical trauma and how the effects could be passed down generationally.
Castello says this about her inspiration for the film, “I contacted Dr. Volkan when he was Director of The Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction at the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia, and went to hear him speak about his work around the world in traumatized societies. Sitting in the lecture hall I remember thinking these ideas are timely in our age of globalization and migrant crisis. They deserve amplification and [a] cinematic narrative.”
Vamik’s Room won the Gradiva Award which celebrates artistic excellence in international psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. The documentary has also won the Sidney Halpern Award for furthering the discipline of Psychohistory – this award is given by The Psyohistory Forum.