Born in Jerusalem in 1935 and educated in Egypt and the United States, Edward W. Said was one of the most important literary critics of the late 20th century, and the most prominent spokesperson for the Palestinian cause in the U.S.
Borrowing its title from the author's memoir, OUT OF PLACE: Memories of Edward Said traces Said's life and work, celebrating his intellectual legacy, especially the importance of his work in literary criticism and postcolonial studies (he was the author of the landmark book Orientalism), his love of music, his role on the Palestinian National Council and his troubled relationship with Yasir Arafat. Filmed across the Middle East and in New York, we discover him through interviews with his family, friends and colleagues, including Ilan Pappe, Elias Khoury, Azmi Bishara, Daniel Barenboim, Rashid Khalidi, Michel Warschawski, Noam Chomsky and Dan Rabinowitz.
Less than a year before his death from leukemia in 2003, Edward Said was interviewed over the course of three days, during which he spoke at length with the filmmakers about his illness, his work, Palestine and politics, his life and education, and his continuing preoccupations. EDWARD SAID: The Last Interview is the remarkable final testament of this passionately committed intellectual.
Together, these two films - the first, reflections on Said made after his death (and from which he is absent), the second in which he is still and fully present - provide a uniquely comprehensive, intimate and moving portrait of one of the great and lasting thinkers of the 20th century.
"Said is blazingly articulate...always accessible and engaging...Said's emotional and imaginative range is as great as his intellect...an intimate portrait of a great mind." —Leonardo Digital Reviews
"Gripping and very affecting. Stripped of soundbites, dramatic re-enactments and other conventional devices, [this] is the kind of portrait of an intellectual which is very rare." —Sight and Sound
"A scintillating conversation that ranges over the controversial writer-activist's childhood, education, writings and, inevitably, his experiences in Palestinian politics. Said... is warm, funny and self-revealing." —George Robinson, The Jewish Week
"The serene, beautiful camera presses ever on through the landscape of Edward Said's absence. The many folds of the pain of Palestine and Israel are illumined. Said cuts across people's vibrant memories. And Said's hopes appear above us." —OE Kenzaburo, Nobel Prize Winner for Literature
“Out of Place and The Last Interview illustrate Said’s life in as complete a form as possible... This two-disc set does a nice job presenting the scope of Edward Said, revealing the true core of a man whose struggles to find belonging and a place to call home drove one of the most brilliant academic careers of our time.” —Jordan Richardson, blogcritics.org