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.
The film is woven around readings from Derrida's book Circumfession, evoking a number of seemingly disparate themes including hospitality, religion, sexuality and the place of the subject in philosophy. Derrida shows us the common thread he perceives running though them: responsibility. Incorporating related imagery, DERRIDA'S ELSEWHERE uses footage of the places Derrida knew in his childhood and adolescence in Algeria, photos of his life there, super-8 footage from the 1960's and 70's, and images from Spain.
Filmmaker Safaa Fathy's stated goal is to show the links between Derrida's life and his work. In discussions, he describes his mother and childhood in the same manner as he does ideas, somewhere between affect and concept, at a boundary where a work becomes biography and biography gives birth to a work. DERRIDA'S ELSEWHERE takes us into his worlds - that of his work in Paris and that of his familial and spiritual roots in Algeria and the Spain of Lorca and El Greco. We begin to see how places allow words to appear, producing images that let us catch a glimpse of what's beyond.