What is Democracy?

What is Democracy?

classified PG

Cities, Future Cities, and Film


Please note: This was screened in Oct 2019

Astra Taylor
William Barber, Wendy Brown, Angela Davis
107 mins, 2018, Canada
Primary language

Democracy is a word we often take for granted. Should we be complacent in a time of political and social crisis? Director Astra Taylor provides a philosophical journey about democracy which spans millennia and continents: from ancient Athens’ ground-breaking experiment in self-government to capitalism’s roots in medieval Italy; from modern-day Greece grappling with financial collapse and a mounting refugee crisis to the United States reckoning with its racist past and the growing gap between rich and poor.

Featuring a diverse cast – including celebrated theorists, trauma surgeons, activists, factory workers, asylum seekers, and former prime ministers – this urgent film connects the past and the present, the emotional and the intellectual, the personal and the political, in order to provoke and inspire. If we want to live in democracy, we must first ask what the word even means.