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One of the most influential and iconoclastic figures of the 20th century, french philosopher and father of "deconstruction" Jacques Derrida has single-handedly altered the way we look at history, language and art. In the spirit of Derrida's work, accalimed filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering Kofman have created an innovative and entertaining portrait by questioning the concept of biography itself. DERRIDA is a playful and provocative glimpse at a visionary thinker as he ruminates on everything from SEINFELD to the sex lives of ancient philosophers.
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This film failed on many levels. The questions asked by the interviewers in awful French were juvenile. You could see the great thinker's disgust with the artificiality and facile nature of the questions. Derrida on more than one occasion attempted to make the question asked by the interviewer into a better, more philosophically relevant question before he answered. The best example of this moment is when he was asked about "love" (amour). Derrida, playfully asks the interview if she meant death (mort). He then goes on to tell her that he cannot answer such a question. He then turns the question into a question about the nature of loving, whether one loves someone as an irreducible singularity or the aspects of that person. Love then becomes a question and "who" and "what" and thus tied to questions of being.
Overall, thus film is a terrible. It does however, despite its poor directing and frustration do reveal something about Derrida. Though as Derrida remarks, it is a filmmakers edit of Derrida and not him himself.
I recommend it to persons interested in Derrida. If you are not familiar with him and his thoughts, it will leave an ill picture of the man and his thought in your mind.
The bonus features are also fantastic. Derrida has surprising humor and predictable depth. For me, this film has immense value in that you cannot just watch it once and forget about it. You have to watch it a few times and on each viewing you gain new insights into life.
It's more a look at Derrida's life than how to do deconstruction.
If your an anti-deconstructionist then you may be wasting your time.
Unfortunately the narration of Derrida's written works was so poor it was almost uninteligble. Should have added subtitles for the english narration.
But definitely worth stuggling through.
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