What is Democracy

What Is Democracy?

USA, 2018, Dir. Astra Taylor

Festival of the Future City/
Mon 21 October 2019

What Is Democracy?

USA, 2018, Dir. Astra Taylor

What is Democracy
Mon 21 October 2019,

Democracy is a word we often take for granted. Should we be complacent in a time of political and social crisis? Director Astra Taylor – her previous films include Zizek! and Examined Life! – 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.

This film is part of Festival of the Future City – an initiative of Festival of Ideas. Festival of the Future City takes place every two years in Bristol celebrating and debating the future of cities with talks, walks, debates, arts projects and new books. The 2019 Festival of the Future City includes classic utopian films about cities; cities in silent cinema; documentaries on New Towns, democracy, the housing crisis and the anthropocene in the series: Cities, Future Cities and Film. We are grateful to BFI for their support for this programme. See the rest of the Festival of the Future City film programme here.

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Further details of the 2019 Festival of the Future City programme are here.

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