The Ister (2004)

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A 3000km journey up the Danube river to the heart of Europe.

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Credited cast:
Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe ...
Jean-Luc Nancy ...
Bernard Stiegler ...
Hans-Jürgen Syberberg ...


'The Ister' is a 3000km journey to the heart of Europe, from the mouth of the Danube river at the Black Sea, to its source in the German Black Forest. The film is based on the work of the most influential and controversial philosopher of the 20th century, Martin Heidegger, who swore allegiance to the National Socialists in 1933. By marrying a vast philosophical narrative with a fascinating journey up Europe's greatest waterway, the film invites the viewer to unravel the extraordinary past and future of 'the West.' Written by David Barison and Daniel Ross

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24 September 2004 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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References Hitler: A Film from Germany (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

philosophical snore fest, guaranteed to drive you from the cinema
19 September 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Unwatchable. This is one of the most pretentious time wasters I've ever had the misfortune of enduring. Essentially The Ister is an overly earnest, impossibly obscure philosophical treatise that could only appeal to academics with an interest in Heidegger scholarship. What were the filmmakers trying to achieve in turning such turgid material into a movie? After more than three hours (!) of cinematic torture I am none the wiser.

I have been told that the film makers are themselves academics, and believe me, it shows. They take everything that is worst about academia and translate it into film. Quite an achievement, I suppose, but one that I hope is never repeated.

Seeing a movie in a film festival environment I always know I'm taking a chance. That's what festivals are about. But programmers also have an obligation to their audience, and they ought to protect us from rubbish like this. As it is, I feel that three hours of my life have been taken from me, and I want them back!

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