Distributor:  Icarus Films
Length:  114 minutes
Date:  2004
Genre:  Interview
Language:  English
Grade level: 11-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
Closed captioning available
Interactive transcript available
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Edward Said: The Last Interview

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An extended discussion with Prof. Edward Said filmed less than a year before his death. The noted literary critic and Palestinian activist delivers his final testament about his life and work as a committed intellectual.

Edward Said: The Last Interview

Edward Said, University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, was one of the most important literary critics of the late 20th century, and for many years the most prominent spokesperson for the Palestinian cause in the United States.

He was the author of ten books, among them Orientalism, a runner-up in criticism for the National Book Critics Circle Award; The World, the Text and the Critic;Blaming the Victims;Culture and Imperialism;Peace and Its Discontents: Essays on Palestine in the Middle East Peace Process;End of the Peace Process: Oslo and After; and, most recently, Power, Politics, and Culture.

Born into a Palestinian family in Jerusalem in 1935, in 1948 Said and his family were dispossessed and settled in Cairo. Educated in the United States, he lived in New York for many years. Long a member of the Palestine National Council, after resigning from the PNC in 1991, Said wrote critically about the post-Oslo peace process and the political failures of Yasser Arafat and the PLO.

Said was diagnosed with incurable leukemia in 1991, and struggled with the disease throughout the decade, while continuing to write and teach. Towards the end of his life, as the disease and chemotherapy treatments sapped his energy, he stopped giving interviews. However, less than a year before his death in September 2003, he made an exception and over the course of three days spoke at length with the filmmakers about his illness, his work, Palestine and politics, his life and education, and his continuing preoccupations.

EDWARD SAID: THE LAST INTERVIEW is the remarkable final testament of this passionately committed intellectual.

'Said is blazingly articulate...always accessible and engaging...Said's emotional and imaginative range is as great as his intellect...an intimate portrait of a great mind.'-Leonardo Digital Reviews

'Gripping and very affecting. Stripped of soundbites, dramatic re-enactments and other conventional devices, [this] is the kind of portrait of an intellectual which is very rare.'-Sight and Sound

'A scintillating conversation that ranges over the controversial writer-activist's childhood, education, writings and, inevitably, his experiences in Palestinian politics. Said... is warm, funny and self-revealing.'-George Robinson, The Jewish Week

'A wonderful moment spent with a great mind. [The viewer] will be amazed by the thought, the courage, the energy. This documentary will enable everyone to understand his struggle against illness and the courageous positions one of the greatest thinkers of our time took throughout his entire life.'-Al Jadid: A Review and Record of Arab Culture and Arts

' * * * [3 stars]! A compelling memoir... Recommended!'-Video Librarian


** 2005 Middle East and Central Asia Politics, Economics, and Society Conference
** 2005 Association for Asian Studies Film Festival


Main credits

Said, Edward W. (interviewee)
Glass, Charles (interviewer)
Guttenplan, D. D. (film producer)
Dibb, Michael (film director)

Other credits

Camera/sound, Christopher Cox; editing, Dominic McMahon, Shelagh Brady.

Distributor credits

Director: Mike Dibb; Producer: D. D. Guttenplan; Interviewer: Charles Glass

Docuseek2 subjects

Israel / Palestine
Cultural and Ethnic Studies
Middle Eastern History
Middle East Studies

Distributor subjects

Conflict Resolution
Cultural Studies
Death and Dying
Human Rights
Media Studies
Middle East
Political Science


Edward Said; Middle East; Palestine; Israel; Literature; Criticism; Politics; Imperialism; Orientalism; film; video; biography; dvd; documentary; biopic; "Edward Said: The Last Interview"; Icarus Films;

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