The Owl's Legacy: Philosophy, or the Triumph of the Owl

The Owl's Legacy: Philosophy, or the Triumph of the Owl

“The owl? What about it?” --Theo Angelopoulos

After a dozen episodes that begin and end with the image of an owl, PHILOSOPHY begins with the owl and its symbolism, and shows us how many of the participants in the series react to the birds or images of them. 

What is philosophy? Does all philosophy draw on the Greeks? And are there any philosophers left? Kostas Axelos argues there have been no philosophers since Hegel; all we are left with now are thinkers. (Mind you, Axelos is considered by many to be a philosopher.) Cornelius Castoriades emphasizes that the Greeks had no fundamental sacred texts, while Guivi Margvelachvili emphatically argues precisely the opposite. And lest we find all this philosophical talk too abstract, much of this episode is filmed at a banquet in the Republic of Georgia, when that state was on the verge of declaring its independence from the Soviet Union—a time and place in which thought and action were closely linked.

“We should raze the Sorbonne and put Chris Marker in its place.” —Henri Michaux

The primary pleasure of the series, which is incredibly inspiring, is linked to this great banquet of participants, the sum of knowledge they invoke, but above all to the playful flows the editing establishes between their ideas, constructing a formidable network of meanings, historical and cultural perspectives -  a veritable encyclopedia of development." —Le Monde

“Why did we have to wait so long for this electrifyingly intelligent film?” —Le Point

“Thirteen words to uncover an entire civilization and reestablish its considerable influence on our modern societies.” —Les Inrockuptibles

“With erudition, Chris Marker questions in each episode what remains Greek within us.” —Philosophie Magazine


Main credits

Marker, Chris (film director)
Peck, Bob (narrator)
Belkhodja, Catherine (interviewee)

Other credits

Music, Eleni Karaindrou [and 11 others]; camerapersons, Andreas Sinanos [and 7 others]; editing team, Khadicha Bariha, Nedjma Scialom.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Historical Anthropology
Ancient Greece
Chris Marker


"The Owl's Legacy"; Icarus Films; France; Chris Marker; Ancient Greece; culture;

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