What Is Democracy? (2019)

“The must-see documentary of the decade.” 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’ experiment in self-government to capitalism’s roots in medieval Italy; from modern-day Greece’s financial collapse and a mounting refugee crisis to the U.S. 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.

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