New Film Chronicles Life of Eric Kandel

(Originally published by Columbia University Medical Center)

January 8, 2010

“In Search of Memory,” a new documentary on the life of Nobel laureate Eric Kandel, MD, University Professor and director of the Kavli Institute for Brain Sciences at Columbia, opens today at the IFC Center in New York and runs through Thursday, January 14. It also will appear at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival on January 24.

The film is a blend of autobiography and history that recounts the life of one of the most important neuroscientists of the 20th century and illuminates scientific developments in our understanding of the brain’s role in recording and preserving memory. In addition to archival footage and dramatic re-creations of Dr. Kandel’s childhood experiences in Nazi-occupied Vienna and his formative years as an emigrant in New York, the film features discussions with Dr. Kandel, friends and family, as well as his public lectures in Vienna and New York, which explore both his professional and personal life, especially his emotional ties to Judaism.

The New York Times called the film, which is based on Dr. Kandel’s autobiography of the same name, “an engrossing portrait” and “a generous introduction to someone worth knowing.”

Dr. Kandel recently reflected on a lifetime of memories, the nature of discovery, and his time at Columbia in an interview with Columbia’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs.



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