July 26, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Picture Perfect

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call
Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering’s documentary films have tackled many difficult and controversial subjects, including gays in Congress, rape in the military and America’s movie ratings board.

“We’re hoping it will have a much bigger impact,” he said of the new film.

And then there’s that film on French deconstructionism, “Derrida.” 

It was the first collaboration for Dick and Ziering, who co-directed. The picture profiled the late philosopher Jacques Derrida.

His decades-long career was characterized by a questioning of traditional authority figures and conventional wisdom. He was also politically active, criticizing the apartheid regime in South Africa and supporting Eastern European dissidents against communist rule.

Ziering said she was interested in Derrida because of his “serious political implications,” adding that his writings and actions helped give her “the imperative to act and sort of a different understanding of responsibility.”

Dick’s take was similar. 

“I was interested in Derrida because he was critiquing a mainstream perspective in philosophy, and the parallel here, and in many of my other films, ... [is] the subjects in our film are saying something that wasn’t said, that was really covered up in a way.”

That “imperative to act” as Ziering put it, frames their work.

“We’re glad — we’re very glad — that the film is, these films are having an impact. That’s why we make them,” Dick said.

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