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Though the film begins with allusions to rule and justice from Antiquity and the Renaissance, What Is Democracy? is very much about the global present.
Jia records the microscopic impacts of the dramatic political, social, and moral changes that have marked individuals, preserving social history within cinematic memory.
But in exile, from the ruins of your culture, you can build a weapon: a survival weapon.
Now in its 48th edition, the International Film Festival Rotterdam has become something of an overwhelming experience, with hundreds of titles being shown over the week and a half that it takes place.