Directed by Astra Taylor
Country: Canada
Year: 2008

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In Examined Life, filmmaker Astra Taylor accompanies some of today’s most influential thinkers on a series of unique excursions through places and spaces that hold particular resonance for them and their ideas.

Peter Singer’s thoughts on the ethics of consumption are amplified against the backdrop of Fifth Avenue’s posh boutiques. Slavoj Zizek questions current beliefs about the environment while sifting through a garbage dump. Michael Hardt ponders the nature of revolution while surrounded by symbols of wealth and leisure. As they stroll through San Francisco’s Mission District, Judith Butler and a friend question our culture’s fixation on individualism. And while driving through Manhattan, Cornel West—perhaps America’s best-known public intellectual—compares philosophy to jazz and blues, reminding us how intense and invigorating the life of the mind can be. Offering privileged moments with great thinkers from fields ranging from moral philosophy to cultural theory, Examined Life reveals philosophy’s power to transform the way we see and imagine our place in the world around us.