What Is Democracy? Reviews

  • Oct 10, 2019

    While I appreciate what 'What is Democracy?' is trying to do there are better docs out there about certain more specific subjects that Astra Taylor tries to shoehorn into her film. For example check out "13" if you want to learn about how black people have been systematically held back from getting a fair shake. This is a highly intellectual documentary, despite an occasional person on the street talking head. It's also remarkably boring. I'm not a fan of Taylor's interjection of herself in the film, but it's not a shock. Young documentarians seem to think we care about them while not realizing that the film is from a perspective. The Herzog approach isn't my cup of tea. The individual segments can be engrossing, but the through line is the filmmaker can't seem to make out what democracy truly is and I wonder if 100 hours or 1,000,000 would be help to help her in that journey. Cornell West is his usual best. Final Score: 5.3/10

    While I appreciate what 'What is Democracy?' is trying to do there are better docs out there about certain more specific subjects that Astra Taylor tries to shoehorn into her film. For example check out "13" if you want to learn about how black people have been systematically held back from getting a fair shake. This is a highly intellectual documentary, despite an occasional person on the street talking head. It's also remarkably boring. I'm not a fan of Taylor's interjection of herself in the film, but it's not a shock. Young documentarians seem to think we care about them while not realizing that the film is from a perspective. The Herzog approach isn't my cup of tea. The individual segments can be engrossing, but the through line is the filmmaker can't seem to make out what democracy truly is and I wonder if 100 hours or 1,000,000 would be help to help her in that journey. Cornell West is his usual best. Final Score: 5.3/10

  • May 17, 2019

    "What Is Democracy?" might be the most thought-provoking and important film I have ever seen. And it is quite momentous, given the political climate in the US. The title and trailer make it seem a bit cheesy, but it confronts a huge, important question. Unlike most documentaries, this one doesn't try to force a concrete conclusion upon the viewer. Rather, it illustrates the hurtles and paradoxes that democracy faces. There are some scenes I might have framed differently. But overall, I think it does a great job at getting an important conversation going.

    "What Is Democracy?" might be the most thought-provoking and important film I have ever seen. And it is quite momentous, given the political climate in the US. The title and trailer make it seem a bit cheesy, but it confronts a huge, important question. Unlike most documentaries, this one doesn't try to force a concrete conclusion upon the viewer. Rather, it illustrates the hurtles and paradoxes that democracy faces. There are some scenes I might have framed differently. But overall, I think it does a great job at getting an important conversation going.

  • Feb 03, 2019

    Too vague to answer such a strong question. A more precise editing might have helped the narrative and poor location/case selection.

    Too vague to answer such a strong question. A more precise editing might have helped the narrative and poor location/case selection.