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DIRECTED BY - Amy Ziering Kofman, Kirby Dick

Directors Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering Kofman present this documentary portrait of the intellectual and philosopher Jacques Derrida. Beginning with his theory of deconstruction--the notion of getting to the basics behind our thought processes and the way in which we view the world--Derrida is portrayed "naturally" walking down the street or shuffling about his house. He frequently observes the camera, noting that its presence alone makes the situation unnatural, and not real. For instance, he says, on a normal day at home, he would stay in his pajamas and bathrobe rather than being (as we see him on film) dressed nicely and slightly primped. Derrida's interaction with the camera, the filmmakers, and others--his wife, his peers, his students--is in itself the embodiment of his theories. He talks about narcissism and being incapable of viewing himself--but rather being viewed by "the other"--while watching tapes of himself, or looking at his own portrait. He travels to South Africa and visits Nelson Mandela's old prison cell, then conducts a discussion with a group of students about forgiveness. Bits of his essays are read in intervals, as are brief biographies explaining his origins and experiences as a Jewish Algerian. While DERRIDA seems to be more about the man and his quotidian life rather than his work and writings, one might guess that separating the two would seem, at least to the philosopher himself, "not possible."

Film Info

RUNTIME - 85 minutes

RATING - Not Rated

YEAR - 2002

FORMAT - DVD Region All

COUNTRY - United States, France

LANGUAGE - English, French


ATTRIBUTES - Widescreen




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