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Examined Life (2008)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 20 November 2009 (UK)
2:05 | Trailer
Examined Life pulls philosophy out of academic journals and classrooms, and puts it back on the streets. In Examined Life, filmmaker Astra Taylor accompanies some of today's most ... See full summary »


Astra Taylor


Astra Taylor



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Credited cast:
Kwame Anthony Appiah ... Self (as K. Anthony Appiah)
Judith Butler ... Self
Michael Hardt Michael Hardt ... Self
Martha Nussbaum Martha Nussbaum ... Self
Avital Ronell ... Self
Peter Singer ... Self
Sunaura Taylor Sunaura Taylor ... Self
Cornel West ... Self
Slavoj Zizek ... Self


Examined Life pulls philosophy out of academic journals and classrooms, and puts it back on the streets. In Examined Life, filmmaker Astra Taylor accompanies some of today's most influential thinkers on a series of unique excursions through places and spaces that hold particular resonance for them and their ideas. Peter Singer's thoughts on the ethics of consumption are amplified against the backdrop of Fifth Avenue's posh boutiques. Michael Hardt ponders the nature of revolution while surrounded by symbols of wealth and leisure. Judith Butler and a friend stroll through San Francisco's Mission District questioning our culture's fixation on individualism. And while driving through Manhattan, Cornel West - perhaps America's best-known public intellectual - compares philosophy to jazz and blues, reminding us how intense and invigorating a life of the mind can be. Offering privileged moments with great thinkers from fields ranging from moral philosophy to cultural theory, Examined Life ... Written by Anonymous

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Plot Keywords:

philosophy | f rated | See All (2) »


Philosophy is in the streets.




Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

20 November 2009 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Sorgulanmış yaşam See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,085, 1 March 2009

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Sphinx Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


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Did You Know?


Michael Hardt: We're stuck, almost conceptually, between two almost cliché ways of thinking about revolution. On the one hand, we have the notion of revolution that involves the replacement of a ruling elite with another... better-in many ways-ruling elite. And that's sort of the form that many modern revolutions have taken and have posed great benefits for the people but they have not arrived at democracy. So that notion of revolution is really discredited and I think rightly so. But, opposed to that, is ...
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User Reviews

Out Of The Musty Studies & Into The Streets
29 May 2009 | by druid333-2See all my reviews

If one were to strike up a conversation with any student of philosophy or pseudo intellectual,within the confines of their study or library, they would have truck loads of source materials to quote by. Take them out of these confines and you have the basis for this stunning documentary, 'Examined Life'. Astra Taylor,who previously turned her independent lens on Slovenian philosophical wizard,Slavoj Zizek, trains her camera on several talking heads to ruminate on life,love,the environment,etc. What makes this documentary all the more interesting is the settings for these intellectuals to talk their talk (and walk the walk,or row a boat,or whatever). The likes of Judith Butler,Martha Nussbaum,Cornell West,and yes....Slavoj Zizek,himself turn up to give their views on whatever crosses their minds (and paths). This is obviously a film that will be of extreme interest to some,and a crashing bore to others (I counted a few walk out's during the screening that I attended). One of the most interesting segments that stuck with me long after exiting the cinema was a discussion between gender theorist,Judith Butler & the director's sister,Sunaura Taylor,who requires a motorized wheelchair, due to a disability,waxes philosophical on the prejudices of the handicapped & the gay,lesbian,bi-sexual & trans-gendered community. 'Examined Life' is not a film that will be everybody's cup of tea,but those with an open mind & a sense of adventure may just get their groove on with it (and even learn something in the end). Not rated by the MPAA,this film does serve up a few rude words,but contains nothing else to offend.

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