Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir Screener

Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) and Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), two of the most influential and controversial thinkers of our time, are presented in this unique documentary originally broadcast in 1967 and photographed by Michel Brault, one of Canadas most distinguished documentary cameramen and filmmakers. Jean-Paul Sartre addresses a variety of topics: his opposition to the Vietnam War, the purpose and mandate of the Bertrand Russell war crime tribunal he chaired, his reaction to extensive criticism, and his refusal of the Nobel Prize for literature.

Simone de Beauvoir responds straightforwardly to questions. She talks about her ongoing commitment to womens liberation and about the decline of the movement, particularly in France. Her vision of life is optimistic, but her realism in the face of despair is disarmingly lucid.

For the first time, the two allow a candid glimpse into their private lives. They show us the places theyve lived, reveal their thoughts and work habits, and discuss, albeit discreetly, the nature of their relationship. Simone de Beauvoir modestly confides that they agreed to be filmed for all those who have enjoyed their works and all those who will one day read them.
1961, B/W, 60 mins. Transcript available by request.