File spoon-archives/bourdieu.archive/bourdieu_2001/bourdieu.0106, message 12

Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 16:33:51 +0200
Subject: Bourdieu film

I have seen the film, last sunday evening in the Beaubourg cinema MK2 in 
Paris. I must say we (a philosopher totally unknown with PB's work and 
myself, a sociologist of education, familiar with most of Bourdieu's work 
especially on education) had a good time. Just a few dull moments during 
some scenes that were expanded too long (in general two and an half hour is 
more than enough) but that could have been caused by the fact that there is 
no subtitling and my French not being perfect.  A small theatre with about 
35 people, mostly sociologist and/or students I would say.
Pierre Carles has followed PB a couple of years, I understand. What you may 
expect: street interviews, an interview for a radio station, a lecture in 
the Collège de France, scenes with the secretary about the revision of a 
text, the reception of a letter by Jean-Luc Godard (PB does not understand 
it!) an interesting meeting of his CNRS researchteam trying to find an 
indicator for neo-liberalism, a short discussion with Gunther Grass, a 
fierce discussion in public at several occasions and above all, Pierre 
Bourdieu talking, gesturing, arguing, in close-up, in great halls, cheerful 
but mostly very serious.He is remarkebly clear in explaining his ideas, 
e.g. the mechanism of reproduction of inequality in society by using his 
famous concept of the differences in cultural capital etcetera.
In the end, under pressure of a fierce attack by someone in the enormous 
audience who gets the floor for a long time, you may see interesting signs 
of losing grip. The panel seems to be in problem, nobody reacts and the 
chairman looks totally out of order. Then PB, although looking impressed by 
this verbal violence, responds in a rather academic way. After the meeting 
however, at the end of the film, with the microphones still open, he 
launches a few sentences that I did not expect to hear him say. About urban 
violence and the legitimation of it. I must say, this haunted me the rest 
of the evening.
All in all I think that those of us who are more or less familiar with 
Bourdieu will not hear many new things. For those who are not, it might be 
a good occasion to get informed or even get curious to read his work. For 
both categories it offers a pleasant evening. I do hope the film will be 
exported with subtitling in English. I did not experience the film as a 
hagiography, although a few more critical questions might have been asked 
by the producer or any other person in the production. Not by Loïc Wacqant 
of course, who again came over as a dedicated follower.
Anton Wesselingh



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