Intro to Existentialism: 8 Existentialist films and TV shows in pop culture

Existentialism  “Man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world – and defines himself afterwards.” ~ Jean Paul Sartre.

For anyone who is interest in existentialism the following 8 films and TV shows show existentialism in popular culture. In these stories individuals are forced to create their own values and meaning through their own consciousness rather than deriving meaning from their essence (what it is to be human). Thought of this way, a short definition of existentialism would be the idea that individuals do not derive their meaning from being human (their “essence”) but instead are forced to choose or create their own meaning by virtue of existing.


Dark City (1998)

Annie Hall (1977)

Memento (2000)

The Seventh Seal (1957)

Les miserables (1995)

The Matrix (1999)

TV Series:

The Simpsons (1995) ~ Bart Sells His Soul

Quantum Leap (1989)


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