Country: France
Category: Fiction
Release date: 2014
Duration: 14 min
Director: Lisa Reznik
Edition: May 2015-2016
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Shot on location in Paris. An illuminating portrayal of the intellectual connection between existentialist philosophers Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre and their vow of essential love.

Simone De Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre met in 1929 when they were both studying for the aggregation exam in philosophy, the elite French graduate degree. De Beauvoir came second to Sartre’s first, though the examiners agreed she was the better philosopher and at the age of 21 the youngest person ever to sit the exam.
Beauvoir and Sartre worked closely throughout their lives, and Beauvoir edited all books Sartre wrote, and Sartre read Beauvoir’s works before they got published.

Their love affair is well-known for its complexity. Sartre had proposed a pact to Beauvoir. The two would have individual, separate lives. They would be free to have other relationships. But they would share everything with each other, every detail of their liaisons. As Sartre explained to Beauvoir, “What we have is an essential love; but it is a good idea for us also to experience contingent love affairs.” And yet, despite everything she achieved in her life as a writer, philosopher and feminist, Beauvoir was content to state, “Our relationship was the greatest achievement of my life.”


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