"The must-see documentary of the decade." - Film Threat. Coming at a moment of profound political and social crisis, this new doc from Astra Taylor (Žižek!, Examined Life) reflects on a word we too often take for granted. Her philosophical journey spans millennia and continents: from ancient Athens' groundbreaking experiment in self-government to capitalism's roots in medieval Italy; from modern-day Greece grappling with financial collapse and a mounting refugee crisis to the United States reckoning with its racist past and the growing gap between rich and poor. Featuring a diverse cast--including celebrated theorists, trauma surgeons, activists, factory workers, asylum seekers, and former prime ministers--this urgent film connects the past and the present, the emotional and the intellectual, the personal and the political, in order to provoke and inspire. If we want to live in democracy, we must first ask what the word even means. Not Rated, 107 minutes.
"This is no civics lesson on gerrymandering and the electoral college, but a global musing on what human beings should expect from each other." -Hollywood Reporter
"Serves as a sharp reminder to pay attention to politics and to remember that the personal and the local are political. If you like thinking about that sort of thing, and you care about whether your democracy means anything, this film might make you get up and take some action. If the ancient Greeks could create a whole new system out of nothing but their imagination, why can’t we?" -The Guardian
"Hugely ambitious." -New York Times
"Taylor gives us a glimpse of 'what is really going on.' But more importantly, she also gives us a glimpse of the world that might be possible, and the wonders that might be achieved, when everyone is given a seat at the table." -Vice
"In its first five minutes, 'What Is Democracy?' provides more possible answers to her titular question than most English-language media does in a year... The movie is radically democratic: Taylor poses the question to philosophers, activists, a poet, politicians, trauma surgeons, a barber, and refugees." -New Yorker
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