At a moment of profound political and social crisis, the Northwest Film Forum invites us to reflect on a word—and a concept—we too often take for granted. They present What Is Democracy? from the mind of director Astra Taylor. This idiosyncratic, philosophical journey spans millennia and continents: from ancient Athens’ groundbreaking experiment in self-government to capitalism’s roots in medieval Italy; from modern-day Greece grappling with financial collapse and a mounting refugee crisis to the United States reckoning with its racist past and the growing gap between rich and poor.
Featuring a diverse cast of celebrated theorists, trauma surgeons, activists, factory workers, asylum seekers, and former prime ministers, this urgent film connects the past and the present, the emotional and the intellectual, the personal and the political, in order to provoke and inspire. Find your seat at one of these three days of screenings, and explore the idea that if we want to live in democracy, we must first ask what the word even means.
After each screening, Town Hall is facilitating a post-event conversation with Astra Taylor. Sit in with a lauded documentarian for a discussion on the meaning of democracy and the process of filmmaking.
Presented by Northwest Film Forum and Town Hall Seattle.