Here’s an extraordinary film of the great Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung speaking at length about some of his key contributions to psychology. Jung on Film (above) is a 77-minute collection of highlights from four one-hour interviews Jung gave to psychologist Richard I. Evans of the University of Houston in August of 1957. In “Sitting Across From Carl Jung,” an article for the Association of Psychological Science, Evans explains how the interviews came about:
I was teaching a graduate seminar called Approaches to Personality when it seemed like an interesting idea to have the graduate students in the seminar role-play in front of the class and pretend to interview the various personality theorists that I was presenting. Carl Jung was one of those theorists, and during the seminar, I learned that he had never agreed to an extensive recorded interview except for a brief exchange on the BBC. I wrote a letter to Dr. Jung to request an interview because I believed that filmed interviews of eminent psychologists would encourage students to read their work.
Jung, who was 82 years old at the time, agreed to the interview and set aside an hour a day over a four-day period. Evans met with Jung in Zurich at the Federal Institute of Technology, or ETH. In the excerpts above, Jung talks about his early association with Sigmund Freud and how he came to disagree with Freud’s fixation on the sex drive as the primary influence in mental life. He talks about his theory of personality types and about universal archetypes, including the anima and animus. He talks about the interplay between instinct and environment, and about dreams as manifestations of the unconscious. At one point he stresses the urgency of understanding psychology in a world where man-made threats, like the threat of the hydrogen bomb, are greater than those posed by natural disasters. “The world hangs on a thin thread,” says Jung, “and that is the psyche of man.”