What is Democracy?

What is Democracy?

| 1 h 47 min
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Coming at a moment of profound political and social crisis, What Is Democracy? reflects on a word we too often take for granted.

Director Astra Taylor’s idiosyncratic, philosophical journey spans millennia and continents: from ancient Athens’ groundbreaking experiment in self-government to capitalism’s roots in medieval Italy; from modern-day Greece grappling with financial collapse and a mounting refugee crisis to the United States reckoning with its racist past and the growing gap between rich and poor.

Featuring a diverse cast—including celebrated theorists, trauma surgeons, activists, factory workers, asylum seekers, and former prime ministers—this urgent film connects the past and the present, the emotional and the intellectual, the personal and the political, in order to provoke and inspire. If we want to live in democracy, we must first ask what the word even means.

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  • director
    Astra Taylor
  • writer
    Astra Taylor
  • producer
    Lea Marin
  • executive producer
    Anita Lee
  • director of photography
    Maya Bankovic
  • editor
    Robert Kennedy
  • sound recordist
    Sanjay Mehta
  • featuring
    Silvia Federici
    Eleni Perdikouri
    Harrison Preddy
    Hannah Niles
    Cornel West
    Mickey Michaux Jr.
    William Barber II
    Delaney Vandergrift
    Efimia Karakantza
    Eulalia Francisco
    Alfonso Gonzalez
    Walter Vicente
    Wendy Brown
    George Papandreou
    Aspasia Balta
    Zoe Konstantopoulou
    Emmy Koutsopoulou
    Angela Davis
    Badili Jones
    Aja Monet
    Christian Guerrier
    Victor On-Sang
    Jacques Laroche
    Tanya Zakrison
    Rishi Rattan
    Nicholas Namias
    Ellie Brett
    Salam Magames
    Abid Muhajir
    Hasan Hmeydan
  • music
    Heather McIntosh
  • associate producer
    Patricia Boushel
  • art director
    Andrew Berry
  • editorial researcher
    Patricia Boushel
  • archival researcher
    Elizabeth Klinck
    Dora Chondropoulou
    Jivan Nagra
    Astra Taylor
  • re-recording mixer
    Serge Boivin
  • sound designer
    David McCallum
  • sound effects editor
    David Rose

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