Heidegger on the screen

[The movie] is more than three hours long and explores the theories of a German philosopher while wending its way up a European river.

A challenging package, you might think, even by the relatively adventurous standards of a film festival audience.

Yet this film, called The Ister, has been playing to packed houses everywhere from Rotterdam to Sydney and Melbourne. Few people have seen anything like it before.

Made by a pair of Melburnians armed with little more than a digital camera and a sense of inquiry, The Ister is loosely based on a wartime lecture delivered by ex-Nazi Martin Heidegger on one of Germany’s most celebrated poets, Friedrich Holderlin, whose poem The Ister (an old Roman name for the Danube river) is another source of inspiration for the documentary.

It is a movie made with great care:

Ross [the filmmaker] was concerned that it be intellectually coherent.

“In the back of his mind was, ‘What if Jacques Derrida sees this?”‘ Barison says.

Here is the full story.