REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG is an intimate and nuanced investigation into the life of one of the most influential and provocative thinkers of the 20th century. Passionate and gracefully ...
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REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG is an intimate and nuanced investigation into the life of one of the most influential and provocative thinkers of the 20th century. Passionate and gracefully outspoken throughout her career, Susan Sontag became one of the most important literary, political and feminist icons of her generation. The documentary explores Sontag's life through archival materials, accounts from friends, family, colleagues, and lovers, as well as her own words, as read by Patricia Clarkson. From her early infatuation with books to her first experience in a gay bar; from her early marriage to her last lover, REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG is a fascinating look at a towering cultural critic and writer whose works on photography, war, illness, and terrorism still resonate today.Written by
Question Why Films
Susan Sontag is one of those names that always seemed to come up in conversations about the so-called "intellectual elite" along with the "effete snobs", "chattering classes", etc. In the cultural divide between us vs. them, she was always in the "them" category. My impression is that in any open society that upholds free thought, it is important to put out new and different points of view in the marketplace of ideas. We have nothing to fear from the free expression of thoughts and ideas. In this documentary, we find out about the life of Susan Sontag, born Suan Rosenblatt. We meet her sister, and her son and daughter in law and her partners, including photographer Annie Leibovitz. Viewers see photos of her parents who lived in China until she was five while Susan and her sister remained in the United States. After the death of her father, her mother returned home and married a Sontag, the name that remained hers. She spent her adulthood mainly in Paris and New York. She fought three battles against cancer and won the first two, finally succumbing in 2004 at age 71. She wrote about her experience with cancer and tried everything in her power to fight it. In the 1960's, Sontag was a critic of the Vietnam War and a leader of the women's movement. In a discussion with Noman Mailer, Susan Sontag asked why it was necessary to use gender labels like "women writers" or "women doctors"...why aren't they simply called doctors or writers as men are. Thankfully, those labels are no longer used. I thought her ideas about photography were compelling, particularly her point that once a person passes, the photograph becomes what we remember and how we recall them. In the 1960's shock photographs became more commonplace, especially in magazines such as Life. Sontag felt that the more shock photos people see, the less impact they had. I found Susan Sontag to be an excellent subject and very well spoken. She seemed very comfortable and courteous with interviewers and despite her reputation for complex ideas, she expressed herself with great clarity as she responded to questions. This is a documentary well worth viewing.
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