People in the Film

  • Sylvie WeilAuthor (niece of Simone Weil)

    "My father gave a rather macho image of my aunt ...and so I had the image of someone who was just like him except happened to be a young woman."

    Sylvie Weil is the niece of Simone Weil and the daughter of renowned mathematician André Weil. She is Prof. Emerita of French Literature at Hunter College, and has written several award-winning works of fiction for adults and young readers, including: My Guardian Angel and Elvina's Mirror. Her latest book is entitled At Home with André and Simone Weil.
  • Anna BrownActivist & Political Science Prof.

    "Simone asked: Why do we allow others to carry the burden of oppression...Why do we live at ease when others are suffering?"

    Anna Brown teaches political science and is the Director of the Social Justice program at St Peter's College in Jersey City. She is an active member of Witness Against Torture and the Kairos community.
  • Jeanne DuchampFormer student of Simone Weil

    "She began by saying 'I forbid you to have a philosophy book; I will give you everything you need."

    Jeanne Duchamp studied philosophy with Simone Weil at a girl's school in Bourges, France from 1934-1935
  • Raymonde WeilSimone Weil's first cousin

  • "At that time it was very strange for someone in her milieu to go work in a factory..."

    After two years of asking, Simone Weil's 97-year-old cousin Raymonde, who grew up with Simone, finally agreed to an interview.
  • Julia HaslettThe Filmmaker

    "What response does human suffering demand of us?"

    Filmmaker Julia Haslett was struggling with that question when she came across this line from Simone Weil: "Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity." After reading a biography of Weil, she was hooked and spent the next six years making what became An Encounter with Simone Weil. Part of her obsession with Weil grew out of years of witnessing her father and older brother suffering from mental illness.