In the movie Silence of the Lambs, Clarice tries to find a serial killer and for this she needs to negotiate with Hannibal Lector, one of the most dangerous serial killers alive. He might even be the Devil himself. She interrogates him a couple of times, but Hannibal only will only answer when Clarice tells him something about herself. The more essential Hannibal’s information becomes, the more intimate and painful Clarice’s story becomes.
This movie can be seen as a double initiation. Clarice is advancing at the FBI with help of her boss. This is the rational good guy, although his motives can be second guessed (is he sexually attracted to Clarice)? But at the same time, Hannibal also initiates Clarice on his way. This initiation is most exciting. Obviously Hannibal is the bad guy, but his intentions toward Clarice are good, almost fatherly. The only glimpses of human expressions on Hannibal’s face are when Clarice tells him about her childhood trauma.
For Clarice to truly solve this case, meaning her own transformation from a poor town girl into a strong and independent woman, she needs to get back in touch with her childhood trauma. Yes, innocent lambs are slaughtered every day and when you see this without your daddy to protect you, unable to free them, you will run as fast as your legs will carry you. But life is not about running. It is about confronting your fears and conquering them. This is what Clarice does when she ultimately kills Buffalo Bill in the dark. The kills her unconscious fear in the shape of the Cretan Minotaur. It is worth to be noted that this confrontation was only possible with the help of the ‘evil’ Hannibal and by reconnecting with her deepest fears.