Theatre & Film

The Bigger Picture: ‘The Whale’ and the misery of self-destruction

Houston Matters considers how we contend with self-destructive behaviors in our own lives and those of our loved ones.


Brendan Fraser as Charlie in The Whale.


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In Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, we experience a week in the life of Charlie, a morbidly obese man facing severe health problems while he attempts to reconnect with his estranged daughter.

Through the story, it’s revealed the binge eating that led to Charlie’s condition was brought on by a personal tragedy, and we witness several of the supporting characters engage in their own forms of self-destruction because of various traumas.

In this month's The Bigger Picture, where Houston Matters explores cultural or social topics in film, we explore what is it that drives some people to engage in behaviors that are actively detrimental to themselves and how to break free of those habits.

In the audio above, producer Joshua Zinn talks with film critic Michael Bergeron and counseling psychologist Dr. Michael Winters.

Joshua Zinn

Joshua Zinn

Producer, Houston Matters

Joshua is a producer for Houston Matters on News 88.7 as well as the host of Encore Houston on Houston Public Media Classical. He joined Houston Public Media as a radio intern in 2014 and became a full-time announcer the following year. Now he prepares segments and occasionally records interviews...

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