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Isaiah Berlin, philosopher of freedom: Film screening and Q&A with the director Judith Wechsler

12 March, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


“Isaiah Berlin, philosopher of freedom”, a 72 minute documentary completed in 2018, traces the intellectual development of a leading 20th century public intellectual in the context of his life and  times, through archival film and recordings of its subject, as well as interviews with his biographer Michael Ignatieff, his principal  editor Henry Hardy, and pianist and writer Alfred Brendel,  among others.  From Berlin’s early life in Riga, to his family’s move to London in 1921 when he was 11, through his own recounting, we trace his personal and intellectual development.  During the War, Berlin worked for the British Diplomatic Service in Washington and in 1945 in Moscow.  There he encountered Anna Akhmatova who changed the course of his life. Technical philosophy seemed limited and he embraced the history of ideas informed by his experience.   The film traces his major contributions to the philosophy of freedom, his studies of Russian thinkers, especially Herzen,  Tolstoy in his “Hedgehog and the Fox”, his  first book, a study of Marx, his essays on Liberty, Romanticism, and “Personal Impressions” of extraordinary people Berlin encountered .  His work on the value of pluralism is particularly pertinent today.

The film is written, directed, produced and filmed by Judith Wechsler


Pushkin House
020 7269 9770


Underground / National Rail Station
19, 38, 55, 98


Pushkin House
5A Bloomsbury Square
London, WC1A 2TA United Kingdom
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