MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 2,562 this week

Derrida (2002)

6.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 574 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 29 user | 40 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

Documentary about French philosopher (and author of deconstructionism) Jacques Derrida, who sparked fierce debate throughout American academia.

Directors:

, (as Amy Ziering Kofman)
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 112 titles
created 29 Aug 2012
 
a list of 133 titles
created 03 Jan 2013
 
a list of 19 titles
created 06 Jan 2013
 
a list of 1547 titles
created 11 months ago
 
list image
a list of 346 titles
created 11 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Derrida (2002)

Derrida (2002) on IMDb 6.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Derrida.
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Kirby Dick's exposé about the American movie ratings board.

Director: Kirby Dick
Stars: Kirby Dick, Kimberly Peirce, Darren Aronofsky
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Documentary about writer and performance artist Bob Flanagan who died at 43 of cystic fibrosis. His life was indicated by pain from the beginning and he started to develop sadomasochistic ... See full summary »

Director: Kirby Dick
Stars: Bob Flanagan, Sheree Rose, Kathe Burkhart
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A man confronts the trauma of past sexual abuse as a boy by a Catholic priest only to find his decision shatters his relationships with his family, community and faith.

Director: Kirby Dick
Stars: Jeff Anderson, Barbara Blaine, David Clohessy
Outrage I (2009)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An indictment of closeted politicians who lobby for anti-gay legislation in the U.S.

Director: Kirby Dick
Stars: Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin, Wayne Barrett
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Jacques Derrida ...
Himself
Marguerite Derrida ...
Herself
René Major ...
Himself
Chantal Major ...
Herself
...
Herself
René Derrida ...
Himself
Eddie Yeghiayan ...
Himself
Edit

Storyline

Documentary about French philosopher (and author of deconstructionism) Jacques Derrida, who sparked fierce debate throughout American academia.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What if someone came along who changed not the way you think about everything, but everything about the way you think?

Genres:

Documentary

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

31 January 2003 (UK)  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$11,473 (USA) (25 October 2002)

Gross:

$156,450 (USA) (14 February 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Only the look and feel of Deconstruction
28 October 2002 | by (New York City, USA) – See all my reviews

A documentary can never be anything other than a director's interpretation of the subject. Making a documentary about a philosopher is a particularly difficult proposition; with most other subjects, we welcome and enjoy varying interpretations, but, with philosophy, we tend to resist variance, because the very aim of philosophy, at least until Post-Structuralists came along, has always been to arrive at the Truth. The challenge of a filmmaker here is that either you properly understand the philosopher, or you may potentially embarrass yourself, though, for the audience, either way could be interesting.

"Derrida", a documentary by the established filmmaker, Kirby Dick, and a former student of Jacques Derrida, Amy Ziering Kofman, attempts to deconstruct the idea of biography itself, but it fails to do so. It takes only the trappings of deconstruction, stripped of its objectives, and applies it as an editorial gimmick by constantly reminding the audience of the film's own awareness of itself. It frequently steps back in an effort to show its self-awareness, but it actually deconstructs nothing. For example, we see Derrida watching himself being interviewed, and later we see him watching this very footage, thereby creating the effect of two facing mirrors with infinite reflections.

The objective of deconstruction is to de-center, that is, to identify the center of the argument--or of the proposed truth--that it relies on in order to make its case. You may argue here that I have just made a logocentric statement by defining what deconstruction is, that I have just centered the definition of deconstruction (note the appearance here of stepping back); you are right (and I'm leaving it at that, because I'm only a hack philosopher.). The film did not succeed in de-centering anything; not the philosopher, the medium, the filmmakers themselves, nor the film itself.

Throughout the film, the narrator reads excerpts from his books against the backdrop of abstract footage of Derrida's face and his surroundings. This effectively makes Derrida the chief story-teller of the film. Instead of presenting the filmmakers' interpretations, they hide behind the power of his words, taking no chances at misinterpretation. Derrida is involuntarily made to be the center that secures and stabilizes the film. Ironically, this film that supposedly tries to explore deconstructionism and apply its tools to the medium of filmmaking finds a secure center in Derrida, and he is left un-deconstructed.

We can feel the insecurity of the filmmakers in often not knowing what to ask their subject. Derrida, out of his affection for the filmmaker, tries hard to turn Kofman's dull questions into something more interesting. The camera, in effect, takes on the perspective of someone who adores him like a rock star. If the film were aware of its own insecurity, it would have been more interesting. Instead, it simply hides behind its own reverence and awe of the famous philosopher.

One way to achieve this deconstruction would have been to hire multiple filmmaking crews where each goes off in its own direction, and presents a 20 minute piece each. The chances are, each will draw a very different picture of Derrida. By presenting them in sequence, the audience will wonder who Derrida really is, and they will inevitably question the process of documentary filmmaking itself, thereby deconstructing not only the idea of Derrida, but also the idea of documentary.

Although I have always been an admirer of Ryuichi Sakamoto, his music in this movie was superfluous. The power of his music attached unnecessary, and often inappropriate, emotional values to the images of Derrida. I can't see any justification for emotionally manipulating the audience in this film, unless it was to deconstruct the use of music in film, which it did not.

Towards the end of the movie, Derrida tells Amy Ziering Kofman that this will be a good autobiography for her. It should have been, but unfortunately it isn't a biography for either Derrida or Kofman. What this movie is to Derrida's philosophy is analogous to what music video is to a piece of music; the imagery is only superficially juxtaposed to his ideas. It is no more than a pretty way to listen to his words.

One redeeming quality of this movie was that I got to see and hear him speak for the first time. After all, I'm a sucker for fame too. If I made a documentary about him, I'm sure I would have been just as nervous and insecure, if not more. In that sense, I have to praise the filmmakers for attempting.


10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Derrida (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page