Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Deconstructing a Philosopher

by Amy Ziering Kofman

In Derrida the filmmakers are making a film about the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, who established the philosophical practice of deconstruction. While many talk about deconstruction, few actually practice it. While it’s very intellectual (it’s philosophy!) the film tries to strike a balance between showing a person and explaining the philosophy. Derrida is brilliant and fun and frustrating, which is how his writing is as well. The film is bold at times and tries to use deconstructionist techniques recontextualized into a cinematic frame to create an awareness. It reminded me why I liked reading Derrida when I studied him a fairly long time ago and it made me also realize how there is very little analysis or rigorous thought in much of the world now. I enjoyed the film, but it’s not for everyone. If you are interested in philosophy or Derrida or biographies of philosophers it should be a lot of fun. Otherwise it could be tough to get through.

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