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Eviction of Intellect: Carl Djerassi - Vienna's Lost Son

AT 2008, 45 min, Eberhard Büssem

Eviction of Intellect: Carl Djerassi - Vienna's Lost Son

Eviction of Intellect: Carl Djerassi - Vienna's Lost SonThe invention of the "pill" made scientist and biochemist Carl Djerassi one of the most innovative and famous men in the world. In addition, during the last decades, Carl Djerassi has also become a great art collector and successful writer. This portrayal follows him through the stages of his life and his work: from the places in Vienna where he grew up and spent his youth until he was forced to flee due to his Jewish origin, all the way through the city of Sofia and the streets of San Francisco and London.  

Carl Djerassi

Carl Djerassi, who was born in Vienna on October 29, 1923, as the son of Jewish parents, had to leave his hometown 15 years later. Via Sofia, he emigrated to the US. In 1951, he made a big scientific breakthrough with the artificial production of norethisterone, the active substance of the contraceptive pill, as well as with the synthesis of cortisone from plant raw material. All in all, he is the author of more than 1,200 publications and received the most prestigious international scientific awards, as well as 20 honorary doctorates. With the proceeds from his work he financed an art collection that soon ranked among the biggest Paul Klee collections worldwide.

After 50 years of highly successful scientific research, Carl Djerassi is a committed novelist and dramatist today, who has written more than a dozen “science-in-fiction“ dramas, novels and, so far, four volumes of autobiography. In his literary works he describes the human aspect of scientists and the personal conflicts with which they are confronted. He is particularly concerned with the motivation to get self-affirmation through scientific success and fame.

Carl Djerassi also writes in order to undergo an auto-psychoanalysis. This becomes especially clear in his last work, Four Jews on Parnassus. In the conversation he is the secular Jew – in search of his Jewish identity. But unlike the prodigal son in the biblical parable, Carl Djerassi did not leave his home country voluntarily, and started a brilliant career from scratch. In spite of that, unlike the prodigal son in the parable, he was not warmly welcomed and given presents in his home country, but it was he who gave a present to his hometown.

In a sort of “return of the lost son“, Carl Djerassi donated half of his Klee collection to the Albertina in Vienna in May 2008. The scientist, man of letters and art collector refers to his youth in Vienna again and again. He sees himself as Viennese, does not forget what happened, but has become reconciled with Austria that at last remembers its lost sons. That is why he has accepted the offer to become an Austrian citizen and today commutes between London and Vienna.

festivals

Vienna Jewish Film Festival 2010 (part 1) | Vienna Jewish Film Festival (part 2)

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NEWS

BRUDER JAKOB, SCHLÄFST DU NOCH?

26.8.
12.00 - Filmtheater Kitzbühel

4.9.
19.30 - dekArTe, Wr. Neustadt

10.9.
19.00 - JUFA Kino, Murau

11.9.
19.00 - Stadtsäle, Voitsberg
19.00 - Stadtkino, Bruck an der Mur
19.30 - Premiere Filmcasino, Wien

12.9.
18.00 - Premiere Moviemento, Linz
19.00 - Museumsturm, Leoben
20.30 - Premiere Localbühne Freistadt

13.9.
19.00 - Premiere Schubertkino, Graz
19.00 - Kino Gröbming
19.00 - Maxxoom, Hartberg
19.00 - Laßnitzhaus, Deutschlandsberg

14.9.
19.00 - Kulturhaus, Liezen

ab 14.9.
Filmhaus, Wien
Village Cinema, Wien
Programmkino Wels
Moviemento Linz
Localbühne Freistadt
Schubertkino, Graz
JUFA Kino, Murau

15.9.
17.00 - Veranstaltungszentrum Judenburg

19.9.
Kino im Kesselhaus, Krems

ab 4.10.
Premiere Leokino, Innsbruck

ab 10.10.
Premiere Das Kino, Salzburg

NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE:

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OFFSHORE - Elmer and the swiss bank secrecy,
KORIDA

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FESTIVALS

NAMRUD

will be screened at

NAFA Int. Ethnographic Film Festival, Romania 2018
9.00am, 14th September

KINDERS

will be screened at

Lucerne Festival, Switzerland 2018
11.00am, 18-19th and 25-26th August

ASHORE

won The Scam International Award
at Cinéma du Réel 2018, FR

will be screened at

Black Canvas Festival de Cine Contemporáneo, Mexico 2018
21st - 26th August

Festival Regards sur le Travail, Belgium 2018
7th October

ARE YOU SLEEPING, BROTHER JAKOB?

will be screened at

Filmfestival Kitzbühel, AT 2018
12.00am, 26th August

Festival international du film de Nancy, FR 2018
2.30pm, 31st August
4.30pm, 1st September

DIL LEYLA

will be screened at

Festival international du film de Nancy, FR 2018
4.30pm, 30th August
6.30pm, 1st September

ONE TICKET PLEASE

won NY PERSPECTIVES AWARD
at Winter Film Awards 2018, US

will be screened at

Flahertiana Int. Documentary FF, Russia 2018
4.40pm, 19th September

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