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Return engagement following BC premiere at VIFF. Astra Taylor’s NFB feature doc What Is Democracy? asks the question that impacts us all—starting December 7 at the Vancity Theatre.


October 29, 2018 – Vancouver – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Astra Taylor’s timely and provocative National Film Board of Canada (NFB) feature What Is Democracy? is back in Vancouver at the Vancity Theatre, starting December 7 (complete schedule below).

If we want to live in democracy, we must first ask what the word even means. What Is Democracy? is an idiosyncratic, philosophical journey spanning millennia and continents: from ancient Athens’ groundbreaking experiment in self-government to capitalism’s roots in medieval Italy; from modern-day Greece grappling with financial collapse and a mounting refugee crisis to the United States reckoning with its racist past and the growing gap between rich and poor.

Celebrated theorists Silvia Federici, Cornel West, Wendy Brown, and Angela Davis are joined by trauma surgeons, activists, factory workers, asylum seekers, former prime ministers and others, in a film that connects past and present, the emotional and the intellectual, the personal and the political, to provoke critical dialogue about our future.

What Is Democracy? is produced by Lea Marin and executive produced by Anita Lee for the NFB’s Ontario Studio in Toronto.

Taylor is a filmmaker, writer, and political organizer whose credits include the NFB documentary Examined Life (TIFF 2008) and Zizek! (TIFF 2005). She has a new book, Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone, published by Metropolitan Books in early 2019.

Vancity screening schedule:

Friday, December 7, 2:45 p.m.
Monday, December 10, 2:10 p.m.
Tuesday, December 11, 8:50 p.m.
Wednesday, December 12, 8:15 p.m.
Thursday, December 13, 5:00 p.m.


Promotional Material

Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailers, synopsis: What Is Democracy?

Associated Links

Vancity Theatre

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  • About the NFB

    The NFB is Canada’s public producer and distributor of award-winning documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences, working with talented creators across the country. The NFB is taking action to combat systemic racism and become a more open and diverse organization, while working to strengthen Indigenous-led production and gender equity in film and digital media. NFB productions have won more than 7,000 awards, including 12 Oscars. To access this unique content, visit NFB.ca.