Interested in hosting a virtual screening? Inquire here!

BLIND TRUST: Leaders & Followers in Times of Crisis celebrates the life and work of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Vamik Volkan, a psychiatrist who brings enemy groups together for dialogue in traumatized areas of the globe.


BLIND TRUST celebrates the life and work of psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Dr. Vamik Volkan, a five-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee who has spent over four decades bringing enemy groups together in areas of conflict all over the world.

BLIND TRUST traces Dr. Volkan's life journey from his birthplace on the ethnically divided island of Cyprus to his development of a model of diplomacy based on the emotional life of nations.

This look into his pioneering fieldwork and peace-building missions in Europe, the Middle East, and the US sheds light on how large-group identity and shared trauma can both unite us and divide us for generations.

This film was originally titled Vamik's Room.


58 minutes
SDH Captioned

Directed by Molly Castelloe
Produced by Molly Castelloe, Kurt Ossenfort, A. Dean Bell
Associate Producers: A. Dean Bell, Kurt Ossenfort
Cinematography: Felix Andrews, Kurt Ossenfort
Editor: David Bartner, Molly Castelloe
Original Music: Giovanni Spinelli
An Aesthetic Edge Production


COMMUNITY SCREENINGS (single events with license to charge admission)
$100 Small Community Screening (1-50 people)
$200 Medium Community Screening (51-100 people)
$350 Large Community Screening (100+ people)

"A truly beautiful piece of film art...A cinematic triumph."
Joseph Montville, former diplomat, Director of Healing Historical Memory,
The Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution
"With many existing local, national, and international group and societal conflicts, there is a current need for a broader audience to learn about and consider Volkan's work in an effort for peace...All peacemakers, particularly those with backgrounds in psychology, can learn from and benefit from Volkan's ideas that are clearly portrayed in this film in a compelling manner."
Stephanie Miodus, The Peace Psychologist
"One can see in this film a special aura around this man who has managed to witness the worst of humanity yet bring faith and love to the saddest situation."
Ann Bennett Mix, Founder, American WWII Orphans Network
"A film that suggests there is no conflict on earth that cannot be unlocked and calmed down, if combatants and victims can learn to mourn."
Blaine Harden, The Washington Post's former bureau chief in Europe, Asia and Africa

"Timely...The documentary walks the viewer through many of its subject's central theoretical ideas and ethnographic observations, which are certainly worthy of engaging and reexamining during this period of global unrest, regression toward ahistorical pseudo-nativism, and a frightening trend in which authoritarian forms of governance are making gains in countries around the globe."
Matthew Steinfeld, Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association

"Thought-provoking...In these polarized times we would all do well to spend more time thinking ourselves out of our own bubbles; we would all profit from understanding the personal histories and slow-burn grievances that shape our own sense of Us and Them."
Elizabeth Pisani, The Lancet

"An artistically rich and arresting documentary...Castelloe's documentary highlights Vamik Volkan's emphasis on continued dialogue and outreach to connect, to listen, and to understand...Castelloe has done a masterful job metabolizing, synthesizing and integrating an enormous body of complex work into an artistic expression. Both in language and in her artistic choices she has made Vamik Volkan's formulations accessible to all who are interested in humanity, loss and conflict. Accessibility is an essential gift of art. "
Anne Brantley Segall, Psychoanalytic Social Work

"Sensitive and informative...An important contribution to the understanding of conflict and crisis on different levels of society...The message is the importance of understanding and bilateral recognition when looking for conflict solutions, as well as focusing on the impact of large-group identity on many different levels, especially when working with diplomacy in conflict areas. Both beginners in the field of trauma psychology and conflict solution and experienced professionals will get much from watching this movie and it would make an excellent presentation as part of trauma psychology education."
Renate Gronvold Bugge, Organisational and Social Dynamics

"The creation of this film...could not come at a more propitious moment...By applying psychodynamic principles to the broader realm of large groups, Volkan is pointing the way toward a possible survival. And the filmmaker Molly Castelloe has enhanced that work."
Carl Jacobs, News and Reviews, The National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis
"Vamik Volkan is truly un homme extraordinaire!...The documentary...carries an inspirational admonition for psychoanalysts to give thought to what we might do to help relieve human suffering and promote human well-being beyond the confines of our consulting rooms. As such, it is a very welcome contribution to our profession."
Martin A. Silverman, The Psychoanalytic Quarterly

Do you like this page?