Based on the first three movies directed by Xavier Dolan – I Killed My Mother (2009), Heartbeats (2010), and Laurence anyways (2012) - we will look at the resurgence of matricidal fantasies during puberty. If the killing of the father is one of the cornerstones of psychoanalysis, that of the mother refers to oedipal and archaic fantasies. How can we succeed in disinvesting the primary object in favour of substitutes during adolescence? On whom can we rely to keep at arm’s length a mother with a thousand faces: devoted, protective, first mirror of the self, loving and beloved; but also seductive, intrusive, abusive and treacherous, who, in turn, invades and abandons?
In Dolan’s work, the hatred of the mother is raw, massive and irrepressible. It stems from the child’s excessive sexuality, which thwarts the primal repression. Indeed, separation is not allowed in such context that makes the mother a superhuman, omnipotent, frightening deity who resists with tenacity and success to the son’s aggressivity.
If Dolan’s trilogy bypasses the hetero-normative binary logic - by staging singular subjective journeys far from any stereotype -, a blind spot nevertheless remains: the progressive reshaping of the links to the maternal imago. Hating one’s mother goes hand in hand with the impossibility of leaving her. The price to pay: a frantic struggle against anxiety, the threat of depression, or even collapse. It’s the son, his mother and nobody else. In such a configuration, how could any triangulation take place?
Keywords: Intergenerational | Transidentity | Matricide | Œdipus complex