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What Is Democracy?

What Is Democracy? is a movie starring Astra Taylor, Silvia Federici, and Eleni Perdikouri. This documentary examines the philosophy behind the concept of Democracy, from ancient Athens to modern Greece and the American Civil Rights...

Running Time
1 hours 47 minutes
Quality
480p, 720p, 1080p, 2K, 4K
Genres
Documentary
Director
Astra Taylor
Writer
Astra Taylor
Actors
Harrison Preddy, Silvia Federici, Eleni Perdikouri, Astra Taylor
Country
Canada
Year
2018
Audio Languages
Deutsch, English, Français, Italiano, Español, Svenska, Gaeilge, Nederlands
Subtitles
日本語, Čeština, Tiếng Việt, Português, 한국어, Australia, Filipino, हिन्दी

This documentary examines the philosophy behind the concept of Democracy, from ancient Athens to modern Greece and the American Civil Rights movement.

Comments about documentary «What Is Democracy?» (20)

Judy photo
Judy

Kafka's depiction of the French Revolution is sometimes confusing, but that doesn't detract from the film's overall message. As it is, I didn't know where to begin with this documentary. The film tries to tell us a story about people with different backgrounds, cultures, and nations, not necessarily as a whole, but as individuals. The film is based on the book by Michael Lewis, "The Big Short." The movie tells a story about Wall Street. The film begins at the beginning of the century, where traders have just made the biggest and most profitable trade of all time, the oil of Algiers. But Wall Street is also a city of merchants, who for the most part are not interested in trading oil, but rather in selling one another houses, or cars, or anything else that could help them make money. One man, William Randolph Hearst, is the most famous of these merchants, and the man who will lead the media and public into believing that Wall Street is the center of the world. The film follows Hearst, and his employees from 1909, to 1930, as Hearst tries to negotiate an oil deal that he thinks he can make. Hearst and his wife, Gertrude, have two young children, and are always worried about their futures, as their children's families will also be going into financial distress. A group of young businessmen comes to the Hearst home to discuss how they plan to get the news of the oil deal on the front page of the New York Times. The young men are never heard from again. This is only the beginning of the film. When the news of the oil deal comes out, Hearst's entire wealth is put into the hands of a group of people who are now worth millions of dollars. The film's subtitle, "A City Under Siege," gives you a sense of the change that Hearst will go through. I don't want to give away the story, but this is the part of the film that makes it all the more interesting. It's clear that Hearst and his friends are not happy about this, and some of them try to fight the change. But some of them just get more and more angry, and start to do everything they can to fight the change. The film's subtitle, "What Is Democracy?" is a bit of a misnomer, but I think the film is trying to say something about what "democracy" means, and what it means to us. It's an interesting story, but I think that the film does a great job of giving you the facts as we know them, and telling a story that is not always true. When the story changes, the film just uses the facts of the story as they are, instead of trying to change the facts. For example, during the revolution, the Wall Street Journal refers to the revolutionary as a "young nobleman." But in the documentary, they refer to him as a "nobleman," and the way he did things was a lot more noble than it was back in 1909. There's also a lot of dialogue in the film that is not spoken by Hearst, but by Hearst's workers, who are responsible for reporting his every move to the newspaper. He was a great guy, and he could be very irritating. But he was also a great and interesting man, and the film does a good job of telling the story of the man. I recommend "Democracy" to anyone who wants to learn more

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Ethan

I read this film in a classroom at the Community College of Seattle, and I felt that it was very well done. The cinematography was excellent and gave you the sense of what the people that were in the film were actually feeling. It is very easy to get caught up in the political world, and it is very easy to become so wrapped up in the issues that you lose sight of the real-world issues that are more important. This film showed the beauty of freedom, which is a beautiful thing. It also showed the painful reality of war, which is the opposite of beauty. I highly recommend this film, especially to those who are interested in watching an extremely important and important documentary.

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Teresa

While a lot of the films that have been produced over the past decade, including this one, have been about the people who do what the politicians don't, the people who really do what the politicians don't, this is one of the few films that has a clear message for the people who still believe that democracy is a "good thing". The documentary focuses on a collection of people in different parts of the world who are making decisions that affect how they live their lives. One of these decisions, which affects the health of their children, is whether to have access to the education that they need to learn. The people who make decisions about this have no idea of the impact their decisions will have on their children. The children have no idea how the decision is affecting their future, which they will have no control over. They are unaware of how their choices will affect their futures. How can we as a society accept a system that allows children to be exposed to decisions that can affect their future?

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Christian S.

A powerful documentary that should have been seen by many. The use of footage, interviews and written responses from the community that "The Deep South" has become (see the local newspaper articles and blogs) to contrast the Deep South with the modern North is great. As is the discussion of the use of violence by the police to quell the dissent. The tension and fear felt by many in the Deep South is a powerful documentary. If you're not a local you won't understand the mindset of the Deep South. The Deep South is one of the most troubled places in America. They don't have a clue of what democracy is. It's a brand of government that's long been discredited. They used to think they had it figured out. The Deep South is one of the most under-represented regions of the country. They're usually the ones fighting for civil rights and the Voting Rights Act, which is something the Deep South won't even get for themselves. A strong message from the Deep South would be something like this: "America should be a nation of laws, not the court system, the media or Congress." There's a lot of talk about the voting rights act. In my view, it's a great way for our country to start to recognize the effects of voting. This isn't a controversial statement. When the voting rights act was passed, a lot of people in the Deep South were so excited. They thought that it was going to be like the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which brought blacks to the polls and the Voting Rights Act. It's not like that. The Voting Rights Act was passed to stop states from treating blacks unfairly. It didn't have anything to do with what the Deep South thinks of democracy. The Deep South isn't fighting for the Voting Rights Act. They're fighting for democracy, a brand of government that has been under attack. If the Deep South had a modern-day version of the Voting Rights Act, I don't think they would have done as well as they did in the mid-90s. The Deep South has come a long way since the late-1970s. We've grown to see democracy in a different light. It's not a great vote, but it's a vote worth taking. We're going to have to take our country back from the people who think they can make it better than it is.

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Wayne W.

I always admired the film about the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917. It was like something you could see on TV. I had some preconceived notions about it and so I decided to watch it with an open mind. The movie is based on a series of interviews conducted by Jack Thompson, a former State Department official and now a professor at Stanford. Thompson is one of the most prominent American journalists who was in Russia during that time, and he does an excellent job of explaining the political situation, the civil war, the war in the Soviet Union, the revolution and the aftermath of the revolution. It's a very interesting and well-told story. I am also a fan of Michael Moore, who also does a good job of explaining the political situation in Russia in the early 1980s. But this movie is far more about the mindset of the people, who were too new to the world of politics. The people who were protesting were there for the same reasons as the people protesting today. They were either pro-democracy or anti-democracy. The movie was primarily for the people, but it's also for everyone who is interested in politics. The movie does a very good job of explaining the background to the Revolution and the political climate in Russia. It also explains how the Revolution in Russia affected other countries, such as Germany and Italy. The movie makes it very clear how people were manipulated by the government and the general public. For example, many of the anti-Communist rallies were organised by the Russian Communist Party in the early 1980s. But it also explains how the Bolshevik Revolution was a means of social and economic revolution. This was a time when people lived in a totally different world from what we live in today, and this was a time of extreme poverty. We were experiencing a economic and social collapse, and this was also a time of political and economic upheaval. The film also explains how these situations affected people in other countries. There are many real examples of how people were affected by the Revolution. But even the most knowledgeable of people will be at a loss at times if they don't watch this documentary.

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Kathy

A lot of the critics have been hating on this documentary, and the film makers, and that's a shame. This is a very well-done, well-directed and produced documentary. It's a lot of work to do this, but the result is worth it. The film covers a lot of issues and topics, and the documentary is very much worth watching. It's an excellent film about a lot of issues, and the film makers have done an excellent job of capturing the essence of the issues. The documentary is very well-done, and the work done by the film makers is quite impressive. I highly recommend it. I think it's a great documentary. It's worth watching.

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Arthur T.

How do you help a people with very little? One person in a small village in India was able to do that. The people that were the subject of this movie are the subjects of this movie. In this movie we see the level of education in India and how this level has been degraded by the greed of the government. Many other things are shown. The subject is not only the education of the children but also their parents, the courts, and the system. As the movie progresses we see the awareness of the children about the differences between them and their parents and how it is important for them to learn about that and to be aware. This awareness is a great education for them to pass on to their children. The idea of this movie is to help people and I think it succeeds very well. I think everyone should watch it. A must see.

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Harry

The fight for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are the great American values. They are that way in all lands, regardless of geography, religion, or political party. The film American Dream is a telling of the "foundations" of our national life - democracy, freedom, and equality. It is not an anti-fascist, anti-military message, and it does not have a message about guns, but it does offer a way to get inside the mind of the average American. Its message is that the American Dream is not just an abstract concept. It is tangible and it is possible. It is not about what is not on the ballot, but what is. It is about living in the moment, and respecting all people, regardless of your political or social background. It is about the good old days, the days when people worked together, and they took care of each other and looked out for one another. We all can use the movie as a template to live in the present, and every American can learn something. The documentary also provides a humanizing perspective on the situation of the African-American community in America today, and it does not just focus on gun violence, but the attitudes and experiences of young people in the ghetto. It provides a way to understand the roots of the problems of the African-American community, without comparing it to the problems of other groups. American Dream is a good film, and it should be viewed by everyone.

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Harry

I cannot begin to express how well made this film is. The point of this film is to provide the viewer with an understanding of what is going on in this country right now. People all across the country have a different definition of what democracy means. Democracy means the rights of the people to vote and to govern themselves, and that should be the standard for all governments. But in America, we seem to have an old definition that is out of date. In our government, the people are governed by the leaders, and the leaders are no longer the people. I think the President, the Supreme Court, and the Congress are all corrupt. We need more honest elections and a real democracy that will not be bought and sold. I believe in a new definition of democracy that will be more realistic and honest.

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Sarah

I really liked this documentary, for two reasons: (1) it gave an accurate account of what has gone on in the Middle East in the last two decades and (2) it looked at the role of the US and the European countries in supporting and sponsoring the current regime in Syria. It was absolutely astounding to me how these people in the US, France, and other countries in Europe were providing massive amounts of military support for the Syrian government. To me, the hypocrisy in the United States was appalling. I do not know why they wanted to overthrow the Syrian government when they could have peacefully gone about doing it themselves. These people have been running the Middle East for many years now. It was their role to bring about the change, not the other way around. The Western countries should be ashamed of themselves. I really hope that the Syrian government will not be overthrown in the next couple of years, as it is very clear that the terrorists in Syria are using the war to further their agenda and to get out of their countries. They would like to destroy the Islamic culture. In the words of an Arab woman who had been to Syria: "What they are doing is wrong. We have to be better than them." In my opinion, the United States has been a leading force in the destruction of the Islamic culture in the Middle East. They are also destroying the life style of the people in that area. The United States is not going to change their ways, and this documentary is just the beginning. When I heard the words "war on terror," I felt that it was something that had to be kept secret. I am glad to know that this movie is out there, and I hope it will be widely distributed. There is a lot of propaganda in the world, and this film shows that there are many of them. It is not just the United States that has a problem with this issue, but other countries too. It is good that the world is beginning to understand the fact that the use of violence and terrorism is not the answer to the problems of the world. Unfortunately, there are people like Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and in Iran. We are losing our civilization. This is a sad story, but I hope that people can see that the issues that we are facing today are not a result of the war on terror. These people are destroying the future of the Islamic culture, and the future of the human race.

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Joseph L.

I was somewhat skeptical about going to see this movie, and it turned out to be a very worthwhile one. If you are concerned about the current state of our democracy, then you should watch this movie. It explains the foundation of the current issues and how we can fix them. It also gives a little history of the issues, but without giving away too much. It also demonstrates a few of the issues they addressed. I thought the film was well-done, but it wasn't perfect. Some of the scenes were a bit long and seemed to drag. Some of the people in the documentary seemed to talk like they were narrating the movie, and the narrator was a bit off at times. I think that the film would have been better if it had been shot like a documentary. Also, some of the images were a bit too dark, so the pictures looked muddy. All in all, though, it was a great documentary. It does show some of the good and the bad, and it explains the issues that really are affecting our society. I highly recommend this movie to people who are interested in seeing it. But, if you are not interested in the current state of our democracy, you probably won't like it. I gave it an 8 out of 10.

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Dennis

One of the most notable documentaries I've seen in the past few years. I have to admit that the story about the Hungarian revolution has been told and repeated time and time again in this movie and yet the stories that are told don't seem to carry that much weight. This film, which is quite different from other documentaries I've seen, is a portrait of a time in the history of Hungary when many of its citizens had the chance to be something. These were the years of the Second World War, a time when there were many people who lived in the so called "melting pot" of Hungarian society who had the opportunity to make their mark. This documentary goes into a lot of detail about some of these individuals and their lives. It touches on their passion and their beliefs, their lives and how they reacted to the war, the war itself, the change and the hope in their lives. It also shows how some of these individuals have transformed their lives from before the revolution to after. This documentary is great in that it gives you a realistic view of what life was like for a lot of people who lived during this time in Hungary and it is telling a story that is important to people. I think this is one of the best documentaries I've seen in the last year. The other films that have been released about the Hungarians are also good, the last one being a documentary that was made for the BBC. I have to say that "Das Erbe" is a very realistic and very informative look at what the time was like for a lot of people in Hungary. This documentary is quite different from the others and I think it is quite interesting. I think that the one thing that is a bit disappointing is that it does not go into the kind of detail that you would find in a really great documentary. It is not as detailed as a documentary like "100,000 Maniacs" but it is better than most of the other documentaries that have been made about this period. I would say that it is worth a watch. It is very good. I give it an 8 out of 10.

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Lauren Morrison

While I will admit the documentary style of this movie did not do justice to the many complexities that plague our political system, it did give me a much deeper understanding of the real world. This film offers the viewer the tools necessary to get the facts of a subject they are not aware of, and once they understand this they will be able to do their own research on the subject and come to their own conclusions. I would recommend this film to anyone who is interested in America and how it is controlled by the political machine that controls the news, the politicians and the corporate media.

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Mildred Butler

A very well made documentary about a different way of doing politics. The politicians are shown as all alike in one way, they are all blindly following their leader who has no ethics. The subject of the documentary is a way of fixing the current political system through direct democracy by the people. It's basically democracy as it should be. The problem with the current system is that it can't be directly expressed through a vote or even voting. In this system, it has to be through voting. In the end, it's a one party system and that's what we have. Democracy is an ideal that we all should strive for but in reality, it's not that easy. It's a hard path to find some people who can vote and not just blindly follow what the politicians say. I think it's worth watching to see how a different system can be implemented in a different way.

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Willie

This is a movie that shows a great injustice that still is happening in the world today. Many who live in the West, will say this is an "underlying" issue and that it is not the fault of the Muslims. I say the Muslims are to blame, because they are the ones who are attacking the West, which is the 1st target for the Muslims. This movie shows the "inside" of what is going on. One of the best movies I have ever seen, and an excellent educational film. Great job to all involved, including the actors. You will not be disappointed.

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Grace

This is a great film, but the film isn't exactly how it is billed. If you watch the movie with an open mind, it's a fascinating look at what a democracy is and how it is perceived. If you have an agenda, or have any preconceptions about what democracy is, then you will probably not like this film. However, it is a great documentary that really takes you to the heart of what it means to be a citizen and what is happening in our country. It is well done, well thought out, and interesting. If you are interested in this subject, then I highly recommend you watch it. I think it will help you to better understand what it means to be a citizen.

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Jason

Anyone who hasn't seen the documentary is missing out on a very good film. Though there is some cynicism in the film, which I think was necessary for a documentary to portray the American mindset, it is well-rounded. It addresses the role of American exceptionalism and the inherent contradictions of this belief, as well as the importance of individual rights and the national security state. This is a documentary worth watching.

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Tammy Dean

I just came back from watching this film and I can say that it is the most moving documentary I have ever seen. I'm amazed at the discussion that has been happening about it, but it is because of the depth of the film that is presented in its simplicity. Democracy is a great film for people who are not interested in politics or political ideas. It's about a human struggle that is worthy of our attention. A struggle between people and the government that can affect the very course of our lives and our freedom. It is a documentary that makes you think, even if you think you know what it is you are watching. I highly recommend this film.

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Andrea Edwards

This documentary is in many ways a perfect example of the art of film making. I feel that the acting is superb and the footage is simply breathtaking. The story and the production values are simply incredible. The film is certainly a lesson in how to do something with very little money and that is something that should be learned in any new generation. I would love to see this film make it's way into the Smithsonian. It is one of those films that can really impact and help to create a more peaceful world. I feel that it will be one of the best films of the year and will surely make it's way into the history books. I am really looking forward to seeing this film and I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves to learn more about the world and the way that we are living.

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Jacqueline Gibson

A political documentary that focuses on the relationship between President Nixon and the New York Times in 1971. It shows the tumultuous relationship between the President and the newspaper in a way that doesn't show the usual bias that often comes with it. The film was made in 1971, so it was not very long. The film shows the New York Times trying to find ways to get the President to turn over the tapes of his conversations with the New York Times reporter Bob Woodward. It also shows the President trying to do his best to make the newspaper do what he wanted. This was a time of turmoil and many scandals and Nixon was trying to get the paper to back off. The film is a great way to learn about Nixon's relationship with the New York Times and his relationship with the press. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in this era.