Face to Face – BBC interview with Carl Jung in 1959

 

Above, we present a fascinating 39-minute interview of Jung by John Freeman for the BBC program Face to Face. It was filmed at Jung’s home at Küsnacht, on the shore of Lake Zürich, and broadcast on October 22, 1959, when Jung was 84 years old.

Face To Face was a 35 episode BBC television series broadcast between 1959 and 1962, created and produced by Hugh Burnett. The insightful and often probing style of the interviewer, former politician John Freeman, distinguished it from other programmes of its genre at the time.

Freeman’s face was almost never shown. Apart from the back of his head, the cameras were concentrated on the subject, sometimes concentrating on a nervously smoked cigarette or a close-up of a face. The theme music was an excerpt from the overture to Berlioz’ opera Les Francs-juges. The titles for each episode featured caricatures of that week’s subject drawn by Feliks Topolski.

Some episodes departed from an interview conducted at the BBC’s Lime Grove Studios: the edition with Carl Gustav Jung was conducted at his home in Switzerland. The interview was a success. He speaks on a range of subjects, from his childhood and education to his association with Sigmund Freud and his views on death, religion and the future of the human race. At one point Freeman asks Jung whether he believes in God, and Jung seems to hesitate. “It’s difficult to answer,” he says. “I know. I don’t need to believe. I know.”

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