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Simone de Beauvoir: Two Interviews
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Two interviews, recorded 16 years apart, illuminating the historic role, personality and thoughts of the novelist, philosopher and political activist who paved the way for Second-Wave Feminism.

"Premier Plan" Program
An interview with Simone de Beauvoir
(40 min.)

In this interview filmed in Paris for Radio-Canada in 1959, Simone de Beauvoir explains her philosophy, existentialism, her political commitment, and her theories on atheism and free love. She also talks about the process of writing her autobiography "Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter", one of the central endeavors of her literary work as she went on to write three more volumes. This interview was censored by the Canadian broadcaster at the time under pressure of the Catholic Church because of the views she expressed.

Why I am a Feminist
An interview with Simone de Beauvoir by Jean-Louis Servan-Schreiber
(50 min.)

In this in-depth interview filmed in 1975 with famed French journalist Servan-Schreiber about her book "The Second Sex", Simone de Beauvoir speaks with clarity and conviction about feminism and its future. She explains her famous quote "One is not born a woman, one becomes one" and the importance of early childhood, the definition of sexism and the relations between men and women. She also brings up how "The Second Sex" was received when it came out, and the conflicts over abortion laws in France. An essential document.

"Beauvoir the height of her intellectual powers and cuts an impressive figure of trenchant lucidity, eloquence and concision."— H-France

"The juxtapostion [of the two interviews] allows us to clearly grasp Simone de Beauvoir's evolution, from the more theoretical early the more radically activist years." —Excessif

"Recommended...Instructors of French literature and women’s studies will find this DVD particularly useful. De Beauvoir’s forceful and strong personality comes through in both interviews and gives life and new meaning to her philosophy, which most students will have only encountered on the page. With a newly unabridged translation of The Second Sex released in 2009, this accessible DVD remains relevant and will complement discussions of de Beauvoir’s significant works." —Educational Media Reviews Online


90 minutes / color/b&w
Release: 2012
Copyright: 2008
Sale: $298

Subject areas:
France, French Culture, French History, Literature, Philosophy, Women's Studies

Related Titles:
Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir: From 1967, for the first time on video or DVD, a portrait of two of the most influential and controversial writers and thinkers of the 20th century. They discuss their work, lives, and the role of intellectuals in modern society.

Judith Butler: An up-close and personal encounter with this influential theorist and author of the best-seller Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity.

Philosophers: Debates and Dialogues: Four debates filmed in 1971 between renowed philosophers including Noam Chomsky, Michel Foucault, Arne Naess, Karl Popper, and others.

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