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The act of writing this book helps the author crawl out of devastation as a grieving mother. Psychoanalytic methods of observation enable the practice of agentic attunement, a process the author identifies to conceptualize relations on-screen or in a scene, interpreting how they shape lived experiences. In the case of the mother-spectator-author, there is the recognition of how film can help map the path toward healthy selves, which encourages paying attention to the child’s development with their future sovereignty in heart and mind. Not only does psychoanalysis show how the development of the self relies on interactions with the external world from the very beginning of development, but the four psychologies of drives, ego, objects, and self-formation are intertwined. Agentic attunement captures the power of paying attention to experiences—as spectators, film scholars, and filmmakers—and how we can interpret them to establish helpful narratives in child and adult development.

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