The Round Table Discussion will have 4-5 participants and we will show several segments of the film.
This documentary explores the life and thought of Iranian philosopher Ahmad Fardid in his intellectual crusade to halt rising western influence in Iran. The self-proclaimed philosophical spokesperson for the Islamic Republic, Fardid constructed a “mystical” and “spiritual” political philosophy that undertook to deliver Iran from the culturally “debasing” and spiritually “dehumanizing” experience of Iranian modernity. Under the conspicuous influence of German philosopher Martin Heidegger, Fardid called for the recovery of modern Iran to its Islamic roots, a project fueled by his concept of Ghabzadegi (“Westoxification”)—which would quickly become a buzzword in the Iranian critique of the modern, secular West. The film features extensive interviews with Fardid’s former colleagues, associates, students, as well as scholars of modern Iran, and uses rare and previously inaccessible footage of Fardid’s debates featured on Iranian television. More broadly, the film presents a comprehensive intellectual history of modern Iran, from the post-Constitutional (1906) to the post-Islamic Revolutionary periods, through a figure whose obscure philosophical path remains largely absent from prevailing conceptions of the rise of political Islam.
This documentary explores the life and thought of the Iranian “anti-Western” philosopher, Ahmad Fardid (1910-94). Fardid, known as the Iranian Heidegger, coined the concept of Gharbzadegi (“Westoxification”), a neologism that became instrumental in critiquing the experience of Iranian modernity as culturally “debased” and spiritually “dehumanizing.” Fardid offered the notion of Ma’anvyat Sharghi (Eastern Spirituality) as the authentic source through which the secular and materialist experience of modern Iran could be transcended, giving way to a genuine mode of “being in the world.”
This film chronicles the life of a “restless” philosopher and his mission to launch a militant assault on a perceived “Westoxicated” Iran. To this end, Fardid constructed a “mystical” and “spiritual” political philosophy – strongly suggestive of his principle influence, German philosopher Martin Heidegger – rooting national identity firmly in the Iranian/Islamic tradition. In post-revolutionary Iran, Fardid became the self-proclaimed philosophical spokesperson for the Islamic Republic.