An Encounter with Simone Weil
Monday, May 14, 2012 9:00 PM CDT
Facets Cinematheque, Chicago, IL
Critics' Pick! "Intensely personal and touching"
-New York Magazine
"A creative and compelling documentary"
-Spirituality & Practice
An Encounter with Simone Weil tells the story of French philosopher, activist, and mystic, Simone Weil (1909-1943)—a woman Albert Camus described as "the only great spirit of our time." On her quest to understand Simone Weil, filmmaker Julia Haslett confronts profound questions of moral responsibility both within her own family and the world at large. From the battlefields of the Spanish Civil War to anti-war protests in Washington DC, from intimate exchanges between the filmmaker and her older brother (who struggles with depression) to captivating interviews with people who knew Simone Weil, the film takes us on an unforgettable journey into the heart of what it means to be a compassionate human being.
The dramatic story of An Encounter with Simone Weil is revealed through contemporary footage in France of places Weil lived and worked, exclusive interviews with key people in Weil's life and legacy, as well as vérité footage of the filmmaker's family in the United States. Intercut with this material is 1930s archival footage, previously unseen photos of Weil, and excerpts of her writings. Weil always asked us this question: "How do we respond to human suffering?" Drawing on current news and observational footage, An Encounter with Simone Weil is a deeply moving film about someone who engaged with the urgent moral and political questions of her time by direct experience of factories, warfare, hunger, and political activism, which she then turned into volumes of profound thought.
Directed by Julia Haslett, U. S.A./Italy/Sweden, 2010, 85 mins.
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