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New Film Chronicles Life of Eric Kandel

“In Search of Memory,” a documentary on the life of Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel, M.D., University Professor and director of the Kavli Institute for Brain Sciences at Columbia, was screened for New York City audiences in January and also appeared at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

The film by Petra Seeger 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. It covers 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.”