Regarding Susan Sontag

REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG is an intimate and nuanced investigation into the life of one of the most influential and provocative thinkers of the 20th century. Passionate and gracefully outspoken throughout her career, Susan Sontag became one of the most important literary, political and feminist icons of her generation. The documentary explores Sontag’s life through evocative experimental images, archival materials, accounts from friends, family, colleagues, and lovers, as well as her own words, read by actress Patricia Clarkson. From her early infatuation with books and her first experience in a gay bar; from her marriage in adolescence to her last lover, REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG is a fascinating look at a towering cultural critic and writer whose works on photography, war, illness, and terrorism still resonate today.

100 minutes
Nancy D. Kates

Shown at

  1. Atlanta Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  2. Boston Jewish Film Festival - 2014
  3. Jüdisches Filmfestival Wien - 2015
  4. Moscow Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  5. San Francisco Jewish Film Festival - 2014
  6. Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival - 2014
  7. Stockholms Judiska Filmfestival - 2014

3 Responses

  1. jewishfilmfests says:

    At one point in American life, the mere mention of Susan Sontag’s name was a way of suggesting intellectual grandiosity. Everyone in the 1960s and ’70s seemed to have an opinion about Sontag’s ideas, whether from her essay “Notes on Camp,” or her books, notably “On Photography” or “Illness as Metaphor.” She wrote provocatively about war, terrorism, photography and disease, and came to represent a fearless curiosity as well as high-minded pretension.

    Read Avishay Artsy’s full review in The Jewish Journal

  2. jewishfilmfests says:

    The Only Susan Sontag Documentary You’ll Ever Need to See

    “I didn’t feel I was expressing myself—I was taking part in a noble activity,” Susan Sontag recalls in an interview, describing her childhood urge to write. A new HBO documentary, Regarding Susan Sontag airing tonight charts the way Sontag’s approach to the issues of her day allowed her to become a new kind of American public intellectual.

  3. jewishfilmfests says:

    Regarding Susan Sontag Turns the Critical Gaze on the Critic

    Pursuing a master’s degree in criticism, as I did, is to willingly submit oneself to a crash-course in inadequacy. You go in thinking you have ideas—big ones; good ones, even—about art or culture or whatever, and you likely possess the necessary arrogance to believe that the world needs to hear them. And then you run into a figure like Susan Sontag, and all that intellectual bravado turns to mush. Reading classic, genre-defining work like “Against Interpretation,” On Photography, or even my personal nemesis, “Notes on Camp,” is enlightening and instructive, obviously; but damn if each of Sontag’s sentences, somehow Japanese in their stylized precision, don’t seem to undercut your own—samurai blades against soft, undisciplined flesh.

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