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Documentary Feature  





Examined Life
Directed by
Astra Taylor
Canada / 2008 / 87 minutes

US Premiere
Screening Times and Venues:
Bearsville Theater
10/03/2008, 2:30PM
Deeply spiritually profound and still accessible to all inquisitive minds, Astra Taylor's documentary "Examined Life" confronts huge and mostly unanswerable philosophical questions: Is there meaning to life and how is it discovered? What part do ethics play in our actions? What are our ethical duties to others? These issues are only part of the discussions led by Taylor's selection of highly regarded philosophers and academics. From Peter Singer's "Utilitarian Applied Ethics" to Martha Nussbaum's modern spin on Aristotelian societal structure to Slovene philosopher and sociologist Slavoj Zizek's ecological theory concerning human's separation from nature, Taylor's guests, while often contradicting one another, inspire thought and reexamination of previously held perceptions and beliefs. Taylor brilliantly interviews her subjects, alternating between posing probing questions and simply listening, allowing her speakers to explain their concepts and uncover their deeper conclusions. "Examined Life" succeeds in shedding a light on complex and ancient philosophical wonders. (Gabriel Meyers)
Astra Taylor was named one of 25 New Faces to Watch in 2006 by Filmmaker Magazine. Her 2005 feature documentary "Zizek!" (WFF 2005), a portrait of philosopher Slavoj Zizek, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was broadcast in Europe and on the Sundance Channel. In 2007 she received a development grant from the Sundance Documentary Fund for "Megapolis," a documentary inspired by the book "Planet of Slums." Taylor has also written for publications including "Adbusters," "Salon," and "The Nation," and won a Project Censored Award for her article "Military Waste in Our Drinking Water."

In addition to her film and writing work, she has been a university sociology instructor, teaching classes on social theory, globalization, and the sociology of film.

Cast/Featuring: Cornel West, Peter Singer, Slavoj Zizek, Judith Butler, Avital Ronell, Michael Hardt, Anthony Appiah, and Martha Nussbaum
Executive Producer(s): Ron Mann, Silva Basmajian (NFB)
Producer(s): Bill Imperial, Lea Marin
Director(s): Astra Taylor
Screenwriter(s): Astra Taylor
Cinematographer(s): John M. Tran
Editor(s): Robert Kennedy
Sound Editor(s): John Laing

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