“What is Democracy?” Documentary Slated for May 14 from Zeitgeist Films

Coming at a moment of profound political and social crisis, What is Democracy? (DVD: $29.95) is slated for release on May 14 from Zeitgeist Films. Director Astra Taylor’s idiosyncratic philosophical journey takes viewers 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 this urgent film that connects the past and the present, the emotional and the intellectual, the personal and the political. Bonus features include deleted scenes, a Q&A at New York’s Jacob Burns Film Center, and an interview with Taylor.