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A portrait of the brilliant and controversial French thinker, Jacques Derrida, and the themes that haunt and inspire his work. The founder of a school of critical thinking that radically questions the nature of texts, the reader, and the multiple layers of meaning at work in language, Derrida's work has been a profound influence on analysis of literature, linguistics, philosophy, law and architecture. And although best known for his early work, this last decade has witnessed an outpouring of Derridean thought on a broad range of subjects from justice to national identity.
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© Zeitgeist Films

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"I'm not sure you'll leave the movie understanding every nuance of 'deconstruction,' but you'll have a real sense of a sophisticated thinker."
‑ Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News
"The picture's charm lies in the continuing by-play between the filmmakers and their subject, with each side doing its best to deconstruct the other."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"If you have any doubts about the film, just ask yourself how many other films have you seen about a renown modern philosopher."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"We are left with a superficial snapshot that, however engaging, is insufficiently enlightening and inviting."
‑ Shawn Levy, Oregonian
"Whether or not you're enlightened by any of Derrida's lectures on "the other" and "the self," Derrida is an undeniably fascinating and playful fellow."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Exhibits a devotion to its subject that just might drive you to his books and make you wish for tea with the man who wrote them."
‑ Vic Vogler, Denver Post
"Dense and thoughtful and brimming with ideas that are too complex to be rapidly absorbed."
‑ Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
"Along the way, we absorb bits and pieces of Derrida's ideas, but the total is insufficient for the newcomer to come away with any focused understanding of Derrida and only seems to fuel the dangerous cult of hero worship."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"At the very least, if you don't know anything about Derrida when you walk into the theater, you won't know much more when you leave."
‑ Jean Lowerison, San Diego Metropolitan
"An enthralling, playful film that constantly frustrates our desire to know the 'truth' about this man, while deconstructing the very format of the biography in a manner that Derrida would doubtless give his blessing to."
‑ Jamie Russell,
"Derrida, with his mane of white hair, piercing gaze and pipe clenched between his teeth, may be the most watchable thinker since Rodin's."
‑ Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star
"Is it possible for a documentary to be utterly entranced by its subject and still show virtually no understanding of it?"
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"Derrida turns out to be an engaging, provocative and droll fellow before the cameras."
‑ Jason Anderson, eye WEEKLY
"The film is an intriguingly superficial view of a famously deep man."
‑ David Elliott, San Diego Union-Tribune
"He's no easy mark, Derrida, but trying to keep up with him as he reasons his way through even the most simple questions makes for a rewarding experience."
‑ Tim Merrill, Film Threat
More reviews for Derrida on Rotten Tomatoes