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
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
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 is...at 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 years...to 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