Sartre and Television Broadcasting

  • Michael Scriven


Sartre’s appearances on the television screen were extremely rare. Although, as the previous chapter has highlighted, Sartre’s involvement in radio broadcasting was quite extensive at key political moments in his life, his interventions in the sphere of television were, by contrast, minimal. It is, of course, important to draw attention to the television adaptations of La Chambre and Huis clos produced by Michel Mitrani and screened on the French state television network in 1964 and 1965, as well as to the television news coverage of significant events in Sartre’s intellectual itinerary: for example, the street interview in 1964 when Sartre explained his refusal of the Nobel Prize for literature; Sartre addressing workers at the gates of the Renault factory in Boulogne-Billancourt in 1970 at the time of the trial of Alain Geismar; Sartre at the funeral of Pierre Overney in 1972. Compared, however, to the colossal nature of Sartre’s output in print, his involvement in television broadcasting is virtually negligible. The underlying cause of Sartre’s absence from the television screen was his implacable opposition to the French state monopoly control of an audiovisual system designed specifically, in Sartre’s opinion, to prevent the free and democratic exchange of ideas.


Television Broadcasting Television Screen State Television Television Channel Publicity Film 
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Copyright information

© Michael Scriven 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Scriven
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BathUK

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