“Annihilation” and Carl Jung’s Shadow
This sci-fi thriller has deep and dark psychological roots.
In honor of director Alex Garland’s 48th birthday, join us as we examine Annihilation—a beautiful and haunting piece of cinema. It’s also a perplexing film, one that both frustrates and fascinates in sometimes-equal measure. Since seeing it in theaters back in February, it’s the one film so far this year that I keep revisiting and am consistently engaged by. It’s taken me awhile to make a video essay exploring its themes—because I didn’t know how to articulate and connect all of its theories, takeaways, and emotional weight.
My approach in making this video was to seek out Annihilation’s cinematic influences, and it led me down an unexpected path to its psychological roots, best embodied by the concepts and theories of Carl Jung. Looking through Jung’s worldview, Annihilation is less about the Shimmer, and more about the “Shadow.” My aim was to shed light on some of the dark truths we all share.