The Denazification of MH : The Struggle with Being and the Philosophical Confrontation with the Ancient Greeks in Heidegger's Originary Politics

Film-Philosophy 12 (2):45-61 (2008)


James T. Hong’s experimental documentary, The Denazification of MH is neither anapology for Heidegger’s involvement with National Socialism nor a condemnation of thatinvolvement. Rather, the film is a critical philosophical confrontation with Heidegger’s thought and the issue of his involvement withNational Socialism. The film addresses the perennial concern as old as philosophy itself: therelationship between the philosopher’s life and his philosophy. While the film does notadopt a definitive position regarding Heidegger, Nazism, and the issue of personalresponsibility, it does suggest an affirmative response to the question posed by bothLevinas and Blanchot regarding the possibility of philosophizing after Auschwitz.Considering Heidegger’s influence on contemporary philosophy and literary studies,inspiring such films as The Denazification of MH and The Ister , it appears as though it is not only possible, but necessary, to carefully andcritically approach Heidegger in the effort to continue to philosophize in the wake of themost catastrophic event of the 20thcentury, the Holocaust. In his thoroughly researched biography of Martin Heidegger, Rudiger Strafaski states the following regarding thepotential of Heidegger himself to do philosophy in the wake of the German death camps, amatter about which Heidegger remained conspicuously silent

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