RSS file with home page updates in XML RSS Info divider Bookmark and Share divider email Join our email list! divider cartCart  
Icarus Film
Distributing innovative and
provocative documentary films
from independent producers
around the world
32 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201divider(718) 488 8900
Foucault Against Himself
A film by François Caillat

 Text Size Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size divider Printable VersionPrintable Version
film still

"Don't ask me who I am, and don't tell me to remain the same." —Michel Foucault

From the history of madness, to sexuality and pleasure in classical antiquity, to the law and penal institutions, the breadth of Michel Foucault's thought was astonishing.

One of the leading intellectuals of the 20th century, Foucault bridged the roles of intellectual and activist, attaining the highest honours of the French academy while using his position to attack the very institutional power that gave him a platform.

film still

Divided into four chapters, FOUCAULT AGAINST HIMSELF focuses on Foucault's critique of psychiatry, his work on the history of sexuality, the growth of his radicalism arising from his research into the French penal system, the nature of knowledge and underlying structures of human behavior, and his immersion in American counter-cultural movements—in particular the resistance to current social structures that he found among sexual minority communities in San Francisco.

The film brings together leading philosophers, sociologists and historians—among them Leo Bersani, who first invited Foucault to speak at UC Berkeley—as well as footage of Foucault himself and French and American archival material depicting events that profoundly influenced him.

film still

Foucault was profoundly opposed to the notion of small fiefdoms of knowledge. His approach was eclectic (a philosopher writing extensively about history and surveying prisoners on their living conditions, to give two examples) and wide-ranging. Philosopher and art historian Georges Didi-Huberman calls him an intellectual "nomad... crossing the territorial boundaries of knowledge."

There are certain threads that run through his work, in particular the critique of institutional power and the celebration of resistance, but it was also filled with fragmentary thoughts and contradictions.

FOUCAULT AGAINST HIMSELF captures the energy and fierce intellect of the man, introducing us to the key elements of his work, while also acknowledging—even celebrating—its many contradictions.

"Those fearing it will be hard to distill any actual meaning from the heady jargon swirling around all things Foucault will be pleased to find that this overview by his admirers succeeds in conveying a pretty clear picture of his work and the trajectory of his career."Educational Media Reviews Online

"Proof that the work of the film can facilitate the transmission of a thought."Telerama

"Beautifully captures the energy and the intellect of Michel Foucault."Amos Lassen

2015 Le Marathon des Mots Festival, Toulouse, France
2015 International Fesival of Films on Art (FIFA), Montreal
2015 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)
2015 Patois New Orleans Human Rights Film Festival

52 minutes / color
Release: 2014
Copyright: 2014
Sale: $390

Subject areas:
Biographies, Cultural Studies, France, Philosophy

Related Titles:
Althusser, an Intellectual Adventure: Centered around the only filmed interview ever given by acclaimed French philosopher Louis Althusser, who murdered his wife, Helene, a few weeks after the interview was given.

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

Marx Reloaded: A new exploration into the relevance of Karl Marx's ideas for understanding the global economic and financial crisis.

The Forgotten Space: Allan Sekula and Noël Burch investigate maritime trade, the global supply chain and 21st-century capitalism.

Jacques Lacan Speaks: A unique film from the archives, a documentary based on a 1971 university speaking appearance by Jacques Lacan (1901-1981), the most influential psychoanalyst after Freud.

Home | New | Titles | Subjects | PDFs | Ordering | Resources | Latest News | Site Map   
About | Closed Captioned | Best Sellers | Study Guides | Filmmakers | RSS | Screenings   
  Follow Us! On...
Facebook Follow Icarus Films on Twitter YouTube
Copyright (c) 2016, Icarus Films
Last Updated January 25, 2017
Privacy Policy