Examined Life

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Examined Life
Examined Life documentary poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAstra Taylor
Produced byRon Mann
Silva Basmajian
StarringCornel West
Slavoj Žižek
Judith Butler
Kwame Anthony Appiah
Michael Hardt
Martha Nussbaum
Avital Ronell
Peter Singer
Sunaura Taylor
CinematographyJohn M. Tran
Edited byRobert Kennedy
Distributed byZeitgeist Films
Release date
  • September 5, 2008 (2008-09-05) (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • February 25, 2009 (2009-02-25) (United States)
Running time
88 minutes

Examined Life is a 2008 Canadian documentary film about philosophers directed by Astra Taylor. The film features eight influential modern philosophers walking around New York and other metropolises, discussing the practical application of their ideas in modern culture.

Featured philosophers[edit]

The philosophers featured are Cornel West, Avital Ronell, Peter Singer, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Martha Nussbaum, Michael Hardt, Slavoj Žižek, and Judith Butler, who is accompanied by Taylor's sister and disability activist Sunny (Sunaura Taylor).

Production and release[edit]

The film appeared in the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, the 2009 Melbourne International Film Festival and the 2009 Kingston Canadian Film Festival. It is co-produced by Sphinx Productions and the National Film Board of Canada, in association with the Ontario Media Development Corporation, TVOntario and Knowledge Network.


Reception has been generally favorable (Rotten Tomatoes gives it 77%),[1] However, Martha Nussbaum subsequently complained in The Point magazine, that although Examined Life displays "a keen visual imagination and a vivid sense of atmosphere and place" it nonetheless "presents a portrait of philosophy that is... a betrayal of the tradition of philosophizing that began, in Europe, with the life of Socrates".[2]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]