Distributor:  Icarus Films
Length:  26 minutes
Date:  1989
Genre:  Expository
Language:  French; German; English
Closed captioning available
Interactive transcript available
You must register and login to preview and purchase items.
This title is included in the following collections: The Docuseek2 Complete Collection 2nd Edition, The Owl's Legacy
You might also be interested in...

The Owl's Legacy: Democracy, or City of Dreams

New to Docuseek? Please register and login to preview and/or license this film. If your institution has already licensed this film, you will need to access this page from your institution's network to watch the film. For help on using Docuseek2, please visit our help wiki.

Episode 3 of renowned filmmaker Chris Marker's mythical masterpiece about the influence of Greek culture on our society. This episode explores the theme of "Democracy, or City of Dreams".

The Owl's Legacy: Democracy, or City of Dreams

“Modern and ancient democracy have no genetic relationship” -- Mihalis Sakellariou

An in-depth—but not overly dense—exploration of how Athenian democracy worked, and the key ways it differs from modern states using the word. Ancient Greek democracy emphasized the polisnot as a city-state the way we understand it, but as a collection of individuals. Those able to participate (free men—a small minority of the total population) were passionate about politics and had access to numerous checks and balances. It was a world without parties, written policies, or an independent judiciary—one in which today’s decisions could constantly be revisited and refined tomorrow.

Book-ended by the 1968 pro-democracy protests in Athens against the ruling fascist junta, this episode paints a vivid picture of life in the first democracy. It also chronicles the unraveling of Athenian democracy during the three decades of the Peloponnesian War when, as Cornelius Castoriadis puts it, “The Athenian Demos degenerated. There was an oligarchic revolution... What the Demos lost was the art of making decisions. Even language was being corrupted.”

Athenian and contemporary Western democracies may be vastly different, but, as this episode clearly shows, they certainly do have parallels.

“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

Citation

Main credits

Marker, Chris (film director)
Peck, Bob (narrator)

Other credits

Music, Eleni Karaindrou [and 3 others]; camerapersons, Andreas Sinanos [and 5 others]; editing team, Khadicha Bariha, Nedjma Scialom.


Distributor credits

Chris Marker

Docuseek2 subjects

France
Ancient History
Greece
Filmmakers
Japan
Philosophy, Critical Thinking and Ethics
Gay and Lesbian Studies
Historical Anthropology

Distributor subjects

Historical Anthropology
Ancient Greece
Chris Marker
France
Philosophy

Keywords

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

Welcome to Docuseek2!

Docuseek2 is a streaming platform of the best documentary and social issue films available for the higher education community.

Anyone may search for titles and find detailed information about the titles. To preview films or license them for streaming, you must register and login.

Currently, we support online registration for anyone affiliated with a higher education institution. Please inquire if you are with a K-12 district or school or with a public library.

Click the Close button to get started!