Big Ideas!

Big Ideas!

A small collection of films about big thinkers.

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Big Ideas!
  • Althusser, an Intellectual Adventure

    Directed by Bruno Oliviero • Documentary • 2016 • 55 minutes

    Documentary based partially on the only filmed interview given by Louis Althusser, a French philosopher who died in October 1990. The encounter took place in 1980 in Rome. Althusser had made a name for himself for his work on Marx. A f...

  • The Ister

    Directed by David Barison and Daniel Ross • Documentary • With Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Jean-Luc Nancy, Bernard Stiegler, Hans-Jürgen Syberberg • 2004 • 189 minutes

    In 1942, at the height of World War II, Martin Heidegger, the most influential philosopher of the twentieth century, delivered a s...

  • Symbiotic Earth

    Directed by John Feldman • Documentary • 2018 • 147 minutes

    SYMBIOTIC EARTH explores the life and ideas of Lynn Margulis, a brilliant and radical scientist, whose unconventional theories challenged the male-dominated scientific community and are today fundamentally changing how we look at our se...

  • Foucault Against Himself

    Directed by Francois Caillat • Documentary • With Michel Foucault • 2014 • 52 minutes

    'Don't ask me who I am, and don't tell me to remain the same.' -- Michel Foucault From the history of madness, to sexuality and pleasure in classical antiquity, to the law and penal institutions, the breadth of...

  • Marx Reloaded

    Directed by Jason Barker • Documentary • 2011 • 52 minutes

    Today a new generation of philosophers, artists and political activists are returning to Marx's ideas in order to try to make sense of the crisis and to consider whether a world without or beyond capitalism is possible. Is the severity o...

  • Sociology is a Martial Art

    Directed by Pierre Carles • Documentary • With Pierre Bourdieu • 2001 • 146 minutes

    SOCIOLOGY IS A MARTIAL ART, a documentary about Pierre Bourdieu's life, became an unexpected hit in France just prior to his death. Filmed over three years, director Pierre Carles' camera follows Bourdieu as he l...

  • An Ecology of Mind

    Directed by Nora Bateson • Documentary • 2011 • 60 minutes

    AN ECOLOGY OF MIND is a portrait of Gregory Bateson, celebrated anthropologist, philosopher, author, naturalist, and systems theorist. His story is lovingly told by his youngest daughter, Nora, with footage from Gregory's own films shot ...

  • Marx for Beginners

    Directed by Bob Godfrey • Animation • 1978 • 6 minutes

    How many people have actually read the work of Karl Marx? Based on the book by the Mexican cartoonist Rius, MARX FOR BEGINNERS is a hilarious animated film that highlights Marx's most influential ideas, and places them into the context of we...

  • Donna Haraway: Story Telling for Earthly Survival

    Directed by Fabrizio Terranova • Documentary • With Donna Haraway • 2017 • 81 minutes

    Feminist thinker and historian of science Donna Haraway is best known as the author of two revolutionary works: the essay "A Cyborg Manifesto" and the book Primate Visions. Both set out to upend well-establishe...

  • Edward Said: The Last Interview

    Directed by Mike Dibb • Documentary • 2004 • 114 minutes

    Producer: D. D. Guttenplan; Interviewer: Charles Glass

    Edward Said, University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, was one of the most important literary critics of the late 20th century, and for many y...

  • The Owl's Legacy

    1 season

    Directed by enigmatic and brilliant documentary essayist Chris Marker, THE OWL’S LEGACY is an intellectually agile, engaging, and sometimes biting look at ancient Greece, its influences on Western culture—and how many eras have reinterpreted the Greek legacy to reflect their own needs.

    Each of t...

  • Food for Thought

    1 season

    In the series, Food for Thought, seven young people start a dialogue with seven philosophers. As food is simply the best way to connect with one another, we cook and eat together while reflecting on crucial life questions. By bringing philosophy into the kitchen, we put theory into practice: we t...

  • Arguing the World

    Directed by Joseph Dorman • Documentary • With Irving Howe, Daniel Bell, Nathan Glazer, Irving Kristol • 1997 • 109 minutes

    Arguing the World is the story of four brilliant and engaging men caught up in the central struggles of our time. This enthralling film creates a vivid picture of intellect...

  • Derrida's Elsewhere

    Directed by Safaa Fathy • Documentary • 2000 • 68 minutes

    An exploration of the man and his ideas, DERRIDA'S ELSEWHERE investigates the parallels between the personal life and the life work of arguably the most important philosopher of the 20th Century, Jacques Derrida. We follow Derrida around ...