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Derrida (2002)



Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 34
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 6

Derrida's intelligence and engaging personality make him an intriguing documentary subject.


Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 1

Derrida's intelligence and engaging personality make him an intriguing documentary subject.



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Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 961

My Rating

Movie Info

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

Jan 20, 2004

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All Critics (38) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (6) | DVD (5)

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.

October 24, 2003
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

October 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
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Derrida, with his mane of white hair, piercing gaze and pipe clenched between his teeth, may be the most watchable thinker since Rodin's.

March 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
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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.

March 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
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Dense and thoughtful and brimming with ideas that are too complex to be rapidly absorbed.

January 10, 2003 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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Is it possible for a documentary to be utterly entranced by its subject and still show virtually no understanding of it?

November 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
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If you have any doubts about the film, just ask yourself how many other films have you seen about a renown modern philosopher.

January 19, 2004 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

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.

October 1, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Derrida turns out to be an engaging, provocative and droll fellow before the cameras.

March 25, 2003 Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY

We are left with a superficial snapshot that, however engaging, is insufficiently enlightening and inviting.

February 20, 2003 Full Review Source: Oregonian

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.

January 26, 2003 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

The film is an intriguingly superficial view of a famously deep man.

January 24, 2003 Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego Union-Tribune

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.

January 17, 2003 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

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.

January 7, 2003 Full Review Source:

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.

December 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Any movie this boring should be required to have ushers in the theater that hand you a cup of coffee every few minutes. Like a marathon runner trying to finish a race, you need a constant influx of liquid just to get through it.

November 11, 2002 Full Review Source:

Dry but thought-provoking, Derrida is of interest because of the chasms of apparent contradiction it opens between the man and the philosopher.

November 11, 2002 Full Review Source: Entertainment Today
Entertainment Today

Those who managed to avoid the Deconstructionist theorizing of French philosopher Jacques Derrida in college can now take an 85-minute brush-up course with the documentary Derrida. Or, you can do something fun tonight.

November 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

Audience Reviews for Derrida

To say that Derrida has had a deep-seated, almost insidious impact on my life is no joke. He's always lurking in the back of my mind, a kind of undercover commentator, peeping out of my subconscious from beneath a grayish colored canvas tarp, waiting to pop up and insert a comment or two in any given situation. He's like a general contractor overseeing the construction project of my house-life, with me up on the scaffold, counting on him to steady it while I build to higher heights. I look down suddenly, and wouldn't you know it: Instead of supporting the scaffold, he's lighting his pipe. I notice nothing but the dark bowl of that pipe. Vertigo sets in. The bowl expands before me, a black and bottomless pit. Is this the abyss. The scaffold rumbles and begins to shake apart. Derrida puffs thoughtfully at his pipe. I fall headlong into blackness . . . Nah, just kidding. Jacques Derrida was cutting-edge influential back when I was in school, and he continues to be taught widely in college classes right now. And it's not just philosophy courses, either. Walk into a college bookstore and stroll the aisles. You can see him being taught in English, history, political science, education classes -- and on and on. An amazing man and an interesting portrait. His comments on biography/autobiography will be with me for a while. At times, the personality that comes across in this film reminds me of the personality displayed by Bob Dylan when he was constantly being hounded to "explain" himself, early on in his career. His take on "forgiveness" tied my brain in knots. But that's Derrida. He's one of the great contemporary game players, one of the best tie-your-brain-in-knots thinkers worth the torture of grappling with. Note: If you dig into Derrida, remember that he evolves, just like Dylan. He was no spring chicken, either, when he passed away, so like Bob, he'd been evolving for many years.
January 13, 2009

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"Derrida" is a documentary about the noted philosopher and deconstructionist, Jacques Derrida. The film follows Derrida in his daily life at home in Paris and at work lecturing, and also to New York City and South Africa to appear on panels. During which, he is constantly commenting on the artificiality of the whole situation of the documentarians trying to capture him looking as natural as possible.(I imagine all documentaries have footage like this but it almost always ends up on the cutting room floor.) This gives some insight into Derrida's thinking, along with readings from some of his works. But it would have been nice to have some talking heads testifying about his influence within his chosen field.[/font]
August 18, 2006
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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