We Need to Talk About Kevin

Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller
Film director: 
Lynne Ramsay
Event date: 
Thu, 03/11/2011

Kevin's mother struggles to love her increasingly vicious child. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined.

Articles on this film:

We Need to Talk About Kevin, Genetics of Postnatal Depression and Puerperal Psychosis

Throughout the film We Need to Talk About Kevin there is the question of whether the mother, Eva, was in anyway 'at fault' for the atrocities performed by her son Kevin, or whether Kevin was just born evil. This, of course, can direct us to the sometimes over-used and possibly unhelpful Nature/Nurture divide. Leaving debates of this divide aside, though, there is a strong suggestion that Eva suffered from some sort of postnatal depression, and it is from this perspective that I will discuss my research.

Research on the psychobiological basis of antisocial behaviour in children

My main interest has been the neurobiological basis of antisocial behaviour in children. It is from this perspective which I approach We Need to Talk About Kevin.

Moral Responsibility and Morality in We Need to Talk About Kevin

One of the issues raised by the film, and in Lionel Shriver’s book, ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’, is that of moral responsibility. Is Kevin morally responsible for the massacre? Is Eva responsible for her child’s behaviour? Is she rational to feel responsible?

Let's Talk About Kevin

Work in my laboratory looks at a range of problem behaviours that include violence to others, sexual crime and self injury. In particular, we deal with how we can assess the risks, manage these risk public protection, and help with recovery and rehabilitation. Inevitably such work must also take into consideration mental disorders and their possible effects on these behaviours – these include brain injury, mental illness, and personality disorders.