Singh-Mitter, A. (2023). A phenomenological inquiry into the extent to which fiction- in this case, Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010) – is representative of and/or intrinsically linked with what we deem to be “reality” [Unpublished Master’s thesis]. Alef Trust & Liverpool John Moores University.

This Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) study examines how films can cause viewers to have significant emotional, cognitive, and spiritual reactions by drawing on transpersonal psychology theories and methodology as well as pertinent material from film studies, Jungian psychology, and post-psychology. It looks into how the phenomenological experience of observing film tropes such as storylines, aesthetics, archetypal symbols, and transcendence themes, might influence changes in the manner in which its viewers may interpret their everyday reality. Five participants were asked to watch Christopher Nolan’s 2010 film, Inception, after which they participated in a 20-30 minute long interview. The study’s findings include a deeper comprehension of the transpersonal influences that films have on viewers’ consciousness as well as the recognition of crucial filmic components that support transformative experiences. This study also aims to contribute to the development of therapeutic strategies and transpersonally oriented film interventions that maximise the therapeutic and personal development potential of film. The significance towards understanding the transformational potential of film on an individual basis should not go unnoticed. All participants reported a degree to which the film impacted their concept of reality, either in the moment of immersion in the film, or in the time afterwards.

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