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                        Mourning, Knowledge, and the Voice in A FANTASTIC WOMAN

                                                                                                       (Sebastián Lelio,2017)

      Film Screening and Panel Discussion

    Janice Lieberman, PhD, Isaac Tylim, PhD, Anna Fishzon, PhD, LP

                      Friday Night Papers

                       December 6, 4-8pm

                          IPTAR, Conference Room


Sebastián Lelio’s 2017 film, A Fantastic Woman, testifies to the violent forms the search for knowledge can take, and the importance of mourning and sublimation for the subject.  The mesmerizing trans mezzo-soprano Marina Vidal, played by the mesmerizing trans mezzo-soprano Daniela Vega, has an adoring older boyfriend, Orlando (Francisco Reyes).  They are in love; they celebrate Marina’s birthday and discuss a trip to Iguazú Falls; they go dancing, return home, and have sex. In the wee hours, Orlando wakes up in distress and collapses, it turns out, from an aneurysm.  The frightened Marina rushes him to the hospital but he cannot be saved.


Twenty minutes in, and Orlando is no more.  His death is sudden and unexpected. He had not put his affairs in order, nor established a place for Marina in his will and within his family.  The remainder of the film is about Marina trying to mourn Orlando, to attend his wake and funeral despite the resistance of Orlando’s son and ex-wife; to care for their dog, Diabla; to grieve and memorialize the fullness of the man she knew.  In essence, to bury him. In order to do this, she must be acknowledged by others as his partner and his beloved. She must be recognized as a woman and as his woman.


The main preoccupation of Marina’s various enemies—Orlando’s family, the police, and the medical examiners—is the question of what is down there, between her legs.  In a sense, it consumes Marina and Lelio, too, as both she and the film work hard to resist an easy solution to the issue of her sexual identity, an identity not reducible to genitalia.


Anna Fishzon, PhD, LP is an advanced candidate at IPTAR and a licensed psychoanalyst in private practice in New York.  She is the author of Fandom, Authenticity, and Opera: Mad Acts and Letter Scenes in Fin-de-Siècle Russia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), as well as articles on sound recording and celebrity.  Her most recent scholarly articles consider late-socialist temporality and the queerness of Brezhnev-era childhood. Dr. Fishzon is coediting The Queerness of Childhood: Essays from the Other Side of the Looking Glass (Palgrave, forthcoming 2020) with Emma Lieber.  She is cohost of the podcast New Books in Psychoanalysis and editor of The Candidate Journal: Psychoanalytic Currents.  She is a former Candidate Organization Co-President and is a member of the IPTAR Program Committee and Faculty and Curriculum Committee.

Janice S. Lieberman, PhD has been a Member and Fellow of IPTAR since 1981. She has taught The Contemporary Dream and was Chair at various times of the Recruitment Committee, the Program Committee and the Fellowship Committee; she founded the IPTAR Members’ Scholarship Committee.  She has served on both Boards for many years in various capacities. She was for many years on the Editorial Board of JAPA and an Editor of The American Psychoanalyst and the PANY Bulletin. Her writings include: The Many Faces of Deceit: Omissions, Lies and Disguise in Psychotherapy (co-authored with Helen Gediman) and Body Talk: Looking and Being Looked at in Psychotherapy, both published by Jason Aronson, and Clinical Evolutions on the Superego, Body and Gender in Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2018).  She has written many papers and book reviews on the topics of gender, deception, greed, relationships, and art and psychoanalysis.  She has been a Docent/Lecturer at the Whitney Museum of American Art for 30 years.

Isaac Tylim, PsyD, ABPP, FIPA is an IPTAR Fellow, IPA training and supervising analyst.  He is also Clinical Associate Professor, consultant New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.  Dr. Tylim is the co-founder of the Trauma and Disaster Specialization Program at NYU Postdoctoral Program, and former chair of the Art,
Psychoanalysis, and Society Project at IPTAR.  He is also a member of the Argentina Psychoanalytic Association.  For many years he was a member of the editorial board of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, and a regular contributor to The Buenos Aires Herald cultural section with a special column on films.  His recent publications include: Reconsidering the Moveable Frame in Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2017), co-edited with Adrienne Harris, Revisiting Narcissistic Transference in the Treatment of Adolescence, and Machismo and the Limits of Heterosexuality.

                                                     Learning Objectives


  1. Describe the anxieties and defenses associated with engaging issues faced by transgender subjects.
  2. Explain how the pursuit of knowledge about transgender bodies often is accompanied by insensitivity and sometimes violence; and demonstrate a better understanding of prejudice and violence in the lives of transgender patients.
  3. Explore the roles of mourning and sublimation in the constitution of transgender subjectivities.


Teaching Method: Lecture and Discussion



Social Workers: The Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, Inc. (IPTAR) SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0226.

Licensed Psychoanalysts: The Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR) is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychoanalysts (P-0011).

Licensed Creative Arts Therapists: The Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR) is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed creative arts therapists (#CAT-0037).

(2) CE credits will be granted to participants who have registered, have documented evidence of attendance of the entire program and have completed the on-line evaluation form. Upon completion of the evaluation form a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to all participants who comply with these requirements.


25.00 CE & General Admission Ticket