DERRIDA is a complex personal and theoretical portrait of the internationally renowned French philosopher, Jacques Derrida. Best known for generating a movement known as "deconstruction", Derrida's radical rethinking of the founding precepts of Western metaphysics has profoundly influenced the fields of literature, philosophy, ethics, architecture and law, inalterably transforming the intellectual landscape of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Produced with Derrida's full cooperation and consent, the film is the most ambitious cinematic project ever undertaken with a world-class philosopher. Initiated by Amy Ziering Kofman, who studied with Derrida at Yale in the 80's, and co-directed by Kirby Dick and Ziering Kofman, DERRIDA is neither a conventional film biography nor a primer on his thinking. Rather, in the spirit of Derrida's own writing, the film investigates the concept of biography itself and explores the nature and limitations of the cinematic form in addressing philosophical thought.
Through the interlacing of rare verite footage of Derrida in his private life with his reflections on deconstruction, violence, the structure of love, the history of philosophy, and the death of his mother, the film raises questions about the relations between the public and the private, the personal and the theoretical, the biographical and the philosophical, becoming a rich and moving meditation on both Derrida himself and the themes that haunt and inspire his work.