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 series of lectures on The Ister, Friedrich Holderlin's poem about the Danube River, which referred to the waterway by its ancient Greek name.
THE ISTER takes up some of the most challenging paths in Heidegger's thought, as we journey from the mouth of the Danube River in Romania to its source in the Black Forest. However controversial Heidegger remains, his thought remains alive in the work of some of the most remarkable thinkers and artists working today, four of whom discuss the contemporary social relevance of Heidegger, including Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Jean-Luc Nancy, Bernard Stiegler, and filmmaker Hans-Jürgen Syberberg.
By drawing the places and times of the river into a constellation with Heidegger's thought, THE ISTER invites the viewer to participate in some of the most provocative questions facing Europe and the world today. These questions-of home and place, culture and memory, of technology and ecology, of politics and war-concern us today just as much as they did Heidegger in 1942.