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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

KINDER UNTER DECK

ab 10. Mai in den österr. Kinos

Filmhaus, Wien
KIZ RoyalKino, Graz

DAS ERSTE JAHRHUNDERT DES WALTER ARLEN

in den österr. Kinos

Programmkino Wels

ab Mai
Das Kino, Salzburg

8./9.5.
Filmbühne Waidhofen/Ybbs

MEIN STOTTERN

in Deutschland im Kino

26.4.
Scharfrichter Kino, Passau

DIE EINSIEDLER

in den österr. Kinos

8./9.5.
Altes Kino Landeck

BRUDER JAKOB, SCHLÄFST DU NOCH?

in Österreich im Kino

26.5.
Alte Gerberei, St. Johann

NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE:

Bruder Jakob, schläfst du noch?,
Zerschlag mein Herz,
Mein Stottern,
Namrud (Troublemaker),
Die Einsiedler,
Guardians of the Earth,
Kinders

Watch our films on VOD on various platforms!

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FESTIVALS

DER STEIN ZUM LEBEN

won the Ecumenical Award
at Achtung Berlin Film Festival!

EISENBERGER - Art must be beautiful, as the frog says to the fly

will be screened at

Dokfilm Festival, Norway 2019
2:00 pm, 27th April

Docs Against Gravity FF, Poland 2019
10th-19th May

DOK.fest Munich, Germany 2019
4.00 pm, 11th May
4.00 pm, 19th May

WALTER ARLEN'S FIRST CENTURY

will be screened at

Dokfilm Festival, Norway 2019
10.00 am, 27th April

Los Angeles Jewish FF, USA 2019
7.30 pm, 8th May

ASHORE

won Best Documentary Award
at Festival de Malaga!

will be screened at

Crossing Europe Film Festival, Austria 2019
4.30 pm, 28th April
6.30 pm, 30th April

Jeonju Int. Film Festival, South Korea 2019
1.30 pm, 6th May
5.30 pm, 7th May
5.00 pm, 11th May

UNA PRIMAVERA

will be screened at

Crossing Europe Film Festival, Austria 2019
8.15 pm, 29th April

Hot Docs Int. Documentary Festival, Canada 2019
9.00 pm, 29th April
4.00 pm, 1st May
12.45 pm, 4th May

CinéDOC-Tbilisi, Georgia 2019
8th - 13th May

Docs Against Gravity FF, Poland 2019
10th-19th May

DOK.fest Munich, Germany 2019
6.00 pm, 13th May
7.00 pm, 17th May

ARE YOU SLEEPING, BROTHER JAKOB?

won Audience Award at
Moscow Int. Documentary Film Festival!

will be screened at

Trento Film Festival, Italy 2019
7.00 pm, 29th April
3.15 pm, 2nd May

CHILDREN BELOW DECK

will be screened at

Central European University, HU 2019
5.30 pm, 7th May

KINDERS

will be screened at

Ciranda de Filmes, Brazil 2019
23rd-26th May

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