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Regarding Susan Sontag

USA | 2014 | 100 minutes | Nancy Kates

Meticulously constructed from a plethora of interviews and archival footage and accompanied by Patricia Clarkson’s terrific voiceover, this engrossing documentary about one of the most prominent and fascinating voices and figures of the 20th century raises the question, “Who was Susan Sontag, and why is she important now?” Director Nancy Kates in attendance.

May 18, 2014
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Director Nancy Kates scheduled to attend

May 19, 2014
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Director Nancy Kates scheduled to attend

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She paved the way for cultural criticism with her essays on society, media, and gender identity. She strove against conventional theories of war and advocated for human and equal rights. Nancy Kates’ documentary Regarding Susan Sontag takes audiences through the life, career, and passion of the famed literary icon and political activist. An opinionated essayist since age fifteen, Sontag was always eager to grow up, see the world, and meet other intellectuals. Kates’ film traces Sontag’s life from her young adulthood awakening through her literary successes with “Against Interpretation” (including her seminal “Notes on Camp”) and “The Way We Live Now” (about the AIDS crisis), all the way up to her romance with photographer Annie Leibovitz and her bold stance on 9/11. The documentary portrays Sontag as an influential and provocative writer who deconstructed ideas of femininity, embraced and analyzed gay culture, and examined important works of cinema. Kates pays respect to and uncovers secrets of the icon through exclusive interviews with close friends and writers such as Harriet Sohmers Zwerling, Stephen Koch, and Fran Lebowitz. Featuring rich readings of Sontag’s work by actress Patricia Clarkson, Regarding Susan Sontag is a complex, detailed, and moving tribute to the literary and feminist pioneer.

Director Biography

Nancy Kates is a graduate of the documentary and television program at Stanford and was a journalist in New York and Boston before returning to California to become a producer and writer. She co-directed her first documentary, Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin with filmmaker Bennett Singer in 2003, winning several awards. Regarding Susan Sontag is Kates' solo directorial feature debut.

Sponsored by KING5, Seattle Weekly

Director: Nancy Kates
Country: USA
Year: 2014
Running Time: 100 minutes
Producer: Nancy Kates, Rachel Antell
Screenplay: Nancy Kates, John Haptas
Cinematographers: Sophie Constantinou
Editors: John Haptasf
Music: Laura Karpman, Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum
Website: Official Film Website
Awards: Tribeca Film Festival 2014 (Special Jury Prize)
Filmography: Debut Feature Film
Language: English
Format: HDCAM
International Sales: HBO
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