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.
The film screening is followed by a panel debating the history, meaning and future of democracy with Lynette Mitchell (Professor of Greek History and Politics, University of Exeter), Nick Pearce (Institute for Policy Research, University of Bath), Marvin Rees (Mayor of Bristol) and film-maker Astra Taylor.