7 user 16 critic

The Ister (2004)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 24 September 2004 (UK)
A 3000km journey up the Danube river to the heart of Europe.
2 wins. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

BEING IN THE WORLD takes us on a journey around the world to meet philosophers influenced by the thought of Martin Heidegger, as well as experts in the fields of sports, music, craft, and ... See full summary »

Director: Tao Ruspoli
Stars: Tony Austin, Taylor Carman, Leah Chase
Examined Life (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Examined Life pulls philosophy out of academic journals and classrooms, and puts it back on the streets. In Examined Life, filmmaker Astra Taylor accompanies some of today's most ... See full summary »

Director: Astra Taylor
Stars: Kwame Anthony Appiah, Judith Butler, Michael Hardt
Mindwalk (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Philosophical conversations between a poet, politician, and scientist. No one is psychotic or out for revenge.

Director: Bernt Amadeus Capra
Stars: Liv Ullmann, Sam Waterston, John Heard
Derrida (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Documentary about French philosopher (and author of deconstructionism) Jacques Derrida, who sparked fierce debate throughout American academia.

Directors: Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering
Stars: Jacques Derrida, Marguerite Derrida, René Major
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A brief, fictionalized time period in the life of Professor Kant. The story is set in Kant's hometown, Konigsberg; it chronicles his last few years prior to his death in 1804 at the age of 80.

Director: Philippe Collin
Stars: Roland Amstutz, David Warrilow, André Wilms
Cartesius (TV Movie 1974)
Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

This made for television film chronicles the illustrious life of French philosopher René Descartes (1596-1650)

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Ugo Cardea, Anne Pouchie, Claude Berthy
Socrates (TV Movie 1971)
Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A false accusation leads the philosopher Socrates to trial and condemnation in 4th century BC Athens.

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Jean Sylvère, Anne Caprile, Giuseppe Mannajuolo
Zizek! (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A look at the controversial author, philosopher and candidate for Slovenian presidency: Slavoj Zizek.

Director: Astra Taylor
Stars: Slavoj Zizek
Wittgenstein (1993)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A dramatization, in modern theatrical style, of the life and thought of the Viennese-born, Cambridge-educated philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), whose principal interest was the ... See full summary »

Director: Derek Jarman
Stars: Karl Johnson, Michael Gough, Tilda Swinton
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Slavoj Zizek examines famous films in a philosophical and a psychoanalytic context.

Director: Sophie Fiennes
Stars: Slavoj Zizek
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Exploring the life and impact of the greatest spiritual and legal philosopher in Islamic history, this film examines Ghazali's existential crisis of faith that arose from his rejection of ... See full summary »

Director: Abdul Latif Salazar
Stars: Dariush Arjmand, Mitra Hajjar, Ghorban Nadjafi
Hannah Arendt (2012)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A look at the life of philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt, who reported for The New Yorker on the war crimes trial of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann.

Director: Margarethe von Trotta
Stars: Barbara Sukowa, Axel Milberg, Janet McTeer


Credited cast:
Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe ... Himself
Jean-Luc Nancy Jean-Luc Nancy ... Himself
Bernard Stiegler Bernard Stiegler ... Himself
Hans-Jürgen Syberberg ... Himself


'The Ister' is a 3000km journey to the heart of Europe, from the mouth of the Danube river at the Black Sea, to its source in the German Black Forest. The film is based on the work of the most influential and controversial philosopher of the 20th century, Martin Heidegger, who swore allegiance to the National Socialists in 1933. By marrying a vast philosophical narrative with a fascinating journey up Europe's greatest waterway, the film invites the viewer to unravel the extraordinary past and future of 'the West.' Written by David Barison and Daniel Ross

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated


Official Sites:

Official site




French | German | Romanian | English

Release Date:

24 September 2004 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

Croatia See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,124, 12 February 2006

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


References Hitler: A Film from Germany (1977) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Up the River without a Paddle
24 February 2008 | by allenrogerjSee all my reviews

A journey-a selective journey- up the Danube, inspired by Heidegger's commentary on Hölderlin's poem, with commentary by three French philosophers on Heidegger's works and his relationship with the Nazis, with excursions to other people- an archaeologist, a bridge-building engineer, a botanist, the film-maker Syderberg- showing examples of or exemplifying Heidegger's ideas- taking three hours in all. A kindly critic would say it was interesting; A truthful critic would say that it was interesting as an example of how to do all the wrong things to make a film. Heidegger is not a simply-understood philosopher and we are assumed to know enough about his ideas to understand the complex discourses (eccentrically subtitled) of three French philosophers, chosen, perhaps, for their cinematic effect, which takes up most of the film. What they say- and the subtitles- distracts from the often interesting and beautiful pictures, and the pictures distract from what they say, you are left struggling to find out what is happening, but above all, there is the difficulty of film compared with a book; you cannot stop and work out what someone means, you cannot look up something in a dictionary or encyclopaedia. You could argue that is reflects Heidegger's own view of history and memory and their interaction, which would explain the selective history (which, if one of his commentators is correct, might reflect Heidegger's own selective view of history, one which excluded the influence of the Jews on European thought), but again it's impossible to give a context in a film. Against that is the fact that every moment of the film is interesting; it's just that they are interesting in an uncinematic way- you want to examine what is said, think about it, check the accuracy of the claims- do all the things that a film, which consists of one thing after another- just won't let you do. It's not a professional film-makers' film and it has none of the virtues of a professional film-makers' film but, to be fair, it also has none of the faults- the simplicity that becomes simple-mindedness, the brisk sweeping away of complexity- of a professional film-makers' film so, finally, yes, it is interesting in a good- or, at least, an interesting- way too.

3 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 7 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed