‘I am very pleased to be here in Rome. You should know that, for us French people, the city of Rome, as well as all Italy, are places where one comes across almost miraculous characters.’ These are the opening words of Louis Althusser before the interview2 began, on one of the rooftops of Rome overlooking the cupola of San Pietro church of the Vatican. Preferring to be a behind-the-scenes, Louis Althusser, a Marxist theoretician, did not often give television interviews. Indeed this is a rare television interview he gave in April 1980, just weeks before he killed his wife Hélène. The interview was broadcast by Italian Radio Television RAI for the programme ‘Multimedia Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences’ by Renato Parascandolo, an Italian journalist, essayist and lecturer.