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Being in the World (2010)

 |  Documentary  |  2010 (USA)
7.7
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BEING IN THE WORLD takes us on a journey around the world to meet philosophers influenced by the thought of Martin Heidegger, as well as experts in the fields of sports, music, craft, and ... See full summary »

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BEING IN THE WORLD takes us on a journey around the world to meet philosophers influenced by the thought of Martin Heidegger, as well as experts in the fields of sports, music, craft, and cooking, in a celebration of human beings, and our ability to find meaning in life through the mastery of physical, intellectual, and creative skills. Written by Anonymous

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One of the More Thoughtful and Engaging Films on Philosophy
5 November 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Let me begin by saying that a film on the philosophy of Martin Heidegger is an incredibly difficult task to undertake. Teaching a class on the subject is difficult enough, trying to make an engaging, thoughtful and approachable film on the subject? Forget about it.

The biggest compliment I can pay this film is to say that it is an excellent movie in and of itself - without referencing Heidegger, without knowing anything about philosophy, the movie stands on its own. The subject matter is presented in a wonderfully engaging and approachable format - a great success if one considers that the inspiration is one of the most cryptic and unreadable philosophers in history: Martin Heidegger.

Being in the World takes us into the experience of what it is to be a craftsman and a master of a skill and reveals to us a more genuine reality about the way we engage with the world, each other and the tools we use to cope with the world. It addresses pressing issues in artificial intelligence, psychology and being in the world as we know it while stripping our modes of perception and prejudice down to reveal a more genuine form existence. This process takes place by example rather than tedious lecture or awkward narrative; expressed through the artists, craftsmen, musicians in the film.

A final testament to the film is from a less biased source: my girlfriend. This kind person has tolerated every form of philosophical banality and esoteric reading assignments which have been pushed upon her probably from the first day we met. Her interest as well as comprehension of these topics has always been minimal despite my best efforts and the unavoidable fact that I claim to make my living around those principles. This film allowed us to bond as it provided a common language to take my philosophical and conceptual understanding of the ideas with her previous experience as a professional musician and give us, for the first time that I can remember, a platform off of which to dive into meaningful and thoughtful philosophical (namely Heideggarian) discussion. For this I would like to genuinely thank the film maker and the participants who made this project possible.

My one uneasy point about the film is how intuitively on-the-ball all of the masters were in their interpretation of their skills as highly Heideggarian (rather than Cartesian & conscious/mindful). The reality is that many people do not understand how they do their skillful crafts and often they take on a common description of their actions that may be contrary to the reality - example: a piano player might think of himself as a highly skilled computer who functions more efficiently than less skilled pianists. In Being in the World, all the masters seemed to be on the same page, which makes me wonder if they were filtered or primed. Though in all honesty, this does not take away from the content of the film and is curious only as an observation of how rare it is for people to be in tune with how they are actually performing their skills.


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