Examined Life is a 2008 documentary film directed by Astra Taylor. The film features eight influential contemporary philosophers walking around New York and other metropolises and discussing the practical application of their ideas in modern culture.
The philosophers featured are Cornel West, Avital Ronell, Peter Singer, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Martha Nussbaum, Michael Hardt, Slavoj Žižek, and Judith Butler, who is accompanied by Taylor’s sister Sunny, a disability activist.
The film appeared in the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, the 2009 Melbourne International Film Festival and the 2009 Kingston Canadian Film Festival. It is co-produced by Sphinx Productions and the National Film Board of Canada, in association with the Ontario Media Development Corporation, TVOntario and Knowledge Network.
Reception has been generally favorable (Rotten Tomatoes gives it 76%), however Martha Nussbaum subsequently complained in The Point that although Examined Life displays “a keen visual imagination and a vivid sense of atmosphere and place” it nonetheless “presents a portrait of philosophy that is … a betrayal of the tradition of philosophizing that began, in Europe, with the life ofSocrates“. (WikiPedia)
What a sourpuss Ms Nussbaum is – ignore her negativity and check out Examined Life – it’s a bloody triumph to get any feature length documentary on philosophy in the can – let alone on Netflix which is where I saw it.