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This article focuses on a feminine character who may be seen as a “New Psyche,” as she appears in films that correspond to the ancient myth of Eros and Psyche. In these films the heroine is a dichotomous figure, containing the conflicting personae of “beauty” and “beast” and rebelling against gender definitions. The character of Viviane Amsalem in the film trilogy directed by Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz will serve as a case study. Viviane Amsalem’s gentle and silenced character hides a dark, instinctive power. She undertakes a dangerous course of action in which she reveals the “male beast” within her, repressed in the dark figure of the Freudian “primordial father.” Only then does she succeed in breaking the bonds of society to gain her individual feminine identity.
In the end she portrays a woman who contains the contradictions within her even as she strives for a different social order. The echo of the ancient myth in the trilogy is critical of the present world, in which there is as yet no place for the feminine model of the New Psyche.