This film is excellent for intellectual history. I've studied Descartes and the history of his time, and this film is spot on accurate, so it seems to me. For those interested in the history of philosophy and the rise of modern science, it is well worth the two-and-a-half-hour watch. For instructors in the classroom: The acting feels a bit staged, and the film is almost entirely seventeenth-century philosophical and scientific debate. So sleep-deprived students would not be able to sit for long viewings without falling asleep. However, particular scenes, especially of key moments in the development of Descartes's philosophy can be selected out and offer terrific visuals to accompany the teaching of Cartesian philosophy and/or the rise of modern science in the seventeenth century. Certainly the whole film could be shown in segments in a course entirely on Descartes. The film also captures insights into the religious hegemony and theological debates in Europe at the end of the Reformation. Because the film is in Italian, it would also be an excellent exercise for those studying Italian since every scene is a matter of dialogue.
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