Socrates (film)

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Socrates (film).jpg
Directed byRoberto Rossellini
Produced byRenzo Rossellini
Written byJean-Dominique de La Rochefoucauld
Marcella Mariani
Renzo Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini
StarringSee below
Music byMario Nascimbene
CinematographyJorge H. Martín
Edited byAlfredo Muschietti
Running time
120 minutes
CountriesSpain, Italy, France

Socrates is a 1971 Spanish-Italian-French film directed by Roberto Rossellini. The film is an adaptation of several Plato dialogues, including The Apology, Euthyphro, Crito, and Phaedo.


A false accusation leads the philosopher Socrates to trial and condemnation in 5th century BC Athens.

His enemies, led by a young man named Meletus, accuse him in court, arguing that the philosopher preaches crazy doctrines to the youth, and does not believe in the gods, but demons. Socrates makes his "apology" (i.e., legal defense), but the citizens are against him; so Socrates is sentenced to death, and held in prison, awaiting execution. His disciples are desperate, and one of them, Crito, tries to help him by encouraging him to flee. Socrates rejects this idea, saying he must obey the rulers of the city. Socrates then resolves to die, and dies as soon as he is forced to drink hemlock.


Rossellini wanted to make a film on Socrates many years before starting production. He would joke that like the Athenian philosopher he failed to make money. Location shooting could not take place in Greece because of the dictatorship so the movie was filmed in Patones Arriba, a town in Spain that was dressed up to look like Athens. Most of the script is lifted directly from de la Rochefoucauld's translations of Plato dialogues, particularly the Apology. Christian symbolism is also used heavily in this film. Socrates refers to his followers as his "disciples" and they all drink from a chalice in a scene heavy with symbolism.[1]



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