McCourtney Institute to host 'What is Democracy?' film screening Nov. 27

November 07, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Democracy is one of those words that means different things to different people. The new documentary “What Is Democracy?” examines those meanings and how they all work together in today’s world.

The McCourtney Institute for Democracy will host a screening of the film and Q&A with director Astra Taylor at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at the State Theatre in downtown State College.

The McCourtney Institute for Democracy will present a screening of the documentary "What is Democracy?" at 7 p.m. Nov. 27 at The State Theatre.

The McCourtney Institute for Democracy will present a screening of the documentary "What is Democracy?" at 7 p.m. Nov. 27 at The State Theatre. RSVP at democracy.psu.edu/movie.

IMAGE: Astra Taylor

Taylor describes the film as a philosophical journey that spans millennia and continents. From ancient Athens’ groundbreaking experiment in self-government to the United States reckoning with slavery and income inequality.

The documentary’s cast includes public intellectuals, activists, factory workers, asylum seekers and former prime ministers from around the world. It examines why democracy is vulnerable to authoritarian governments and what can be done to strengthen it.

“What is Democracy?” is Taylor’s third documentary. She previously directed “Zizek!” about Slovenian philosopher and presidential candidate Slavoj Zizek and “The Examined Life” that looked at how philosophy can be applied to everyday life.

She’s the author of “The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age” and has written for The New York Times, The L.A. Times, The Nation, The Baffler, n+1 and other outlets.

The “What is Democracy?” screening is free, but advance registration is required. Visit democracy.psu.edu/movie to register.

Last Updated November 07, 2018