fbpx What Is Democracy? | Gene Siskel Film Center
Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements

What Is Democracy?

2018, Astra Taylor, Canada, 107 min.

Show Times

  • Fri, Feb 15th 7:45pm
  • Sat, Feb 16th 3:00pm
  • Sun, Feb 17th 5:30pm
  • Mon, Feb 18th 7:45pm
  • Tue, Feb 19th 6:00pm
  • Wed, Feb 20th 7:45pm
  • Thu, Feb 21st 6:00pm
Chicago premiere! Astra Taylor in person!

“Fascinating...It's a great watch.”--Charlie Phillips, The Guardian

“A pertinent film for this moment…timely commentary on democracy run amok.”--Jordan Dodd, Cinema Axis Magazine

This vibrant visual essay explores the origin and many permutations of democracy around the globe, resulting in an implicit warning concerning the inherent vulnerability of this venerable and much-idealized institution in today’s political climate. Activist, author, and director Taylor (EXAMINED LIFE, ZIZEK!) brings to life philosophical thought from Plato’s Republic to the present. Interviews range from social critic Cornel West, political theorist Wendy Brown, and former Greek prime minister George Papandreou to average working people--teachers, students, doctors, and more--who see the growing discrepancy between the super-wealthy power brokers and the swelling number of the disenfranchised as a danger. Taylor has a gift for putting intellectual excitement on the screen in a way that is stimulating, entertaining, and profoundly thought-provoking. In English, Arabic, Spanish, and Greek with English subtitles. DCP digital. (BS)

Director Astra Taylor is scheduled to be present for audience discussions on Friday and Saturday, both moderated by Micah Uetricht, an editor at Jacobin Magazine.

Play Trailer