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In Search of Memory: movie review

Nobel Prize winner Eric Kandel explores his past in this warm tribute, ‘In Search of Memory.’

By Peter RainerFilm critic / January 15, 2010



The best reason to see Petra Seeger’s documentary “In Search of Memory” is to make the acquaintance of the remarkable Dr. Eric Kandel, who won the 2000 Nobel Prize for his work in the physiology of the brain and how it stores memories. Kandel escaped Vienna with his family during the Holocaust and ended up a precocious Brooklyn boy. A big, shambling man with an infectious, horsey laugh, Kandel is, on the surface, the least likely of Nobelists. He looks like an elongated Woody Allen, and sounds a bit like him, too. (Maybe it’s just Brooklyn I’m hearing.) But when Kandel revisits his childhood neighborhoods in Vienna and Brooklyn and ruminates in his sprightly way on the past, the full measure of his humanity comes through. His deeply felt recollections, like his scientific work, are a tribute to the persistence of memory. Grade: B+

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