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Dream girl

20 minutes

What are intimacy and companionship when your loved one is made of silicone?

‘Boundaries between reality and dream are blurry.’

Seeking a ‘normal’ relationship after several soured romances left him depressed, Dirk eventually found support and stability in a relationship with a rather unusual new partner: a life-sized and lifelike sex doll named Jenny. Dream Girl profiles Dirk as he explores the details of his unconventional love. Although on some level he knows that ‘her silicone body isn’t alive, of course’, he seems to think of Jenny in a way that wilfully wavers between reality and fantasy. Although Dirk’s loneliness and isolation is palpable – the film itself barely leaves his home – it’s also clear that he’s somehow practising how to relate to other humans, however unsettling his methods might be. This remarkably wrought, haunting film by the Swiss director Oliver Schwarz asks vexing questions about what love can be and what it means to choose the kind of intimacy that Dirk has, while offering no easy answers.

Director: Oliver Schwarz

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Essay/
Neuroscience
The theory of mind myth

Even experts can’t predict violence or suicide. Surely we’re kidding ourselves that we can see inside the minds of others

Robert Burton

Essay/
Social Psychology
In extremis

As Hannah Arendt argued, there is one common thread which connects individuals drawn to all kinds of extremist ideologies

Nabeelah Jaffer