Saturday, February 6, 2010
AMERICAN RADICAL: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein; Ridgen/Rossier's doc debuts
TrustMovies, you couldn't get enough of the Norman Finkelstein seen in Defamation, the recent inquiry into anti-semitism by Yoav Shamir, you'll want to pop over to Anthology Film Archives to view a new documentary entitled AMERICAN RADICAL: THE TRIALS OF NORMAN FINKELSTEIN to learn more about this pained and painful, intelligent and feeling, tireless and tiring proselytizer of the uses of The Holocaust, Israel's abuse of the Palestinians, and what it means to be Jewish.
Daniel Pearl in order to cloud up the argument with sentiment and anti-Semitism. I love how he's managed to handle his own intense history as the son of Holocaust survivors (a father who never talked and a mother who wouldn't shut up) for whom that event set in stone the rest of their lives. I love how he tries very hard to explain this and then waves us (and the filmmakers) away when he's suddenly overcome with emotion. I love how he has dedicated his life to what he perceives as the truth. But I don't love that this has cost him one job after another, culminating in the loss of deserved tenure and consequently his job at De Paul University.
David Ridgen (above, left) and Nicolas Rossier (above, right) -- have brought together the man, his words and his deeds, into one 84-minute film that captures his aggressiveness as well as his warmth, and should leave you with greater understanding and respect for this difficult (even one of his best friends worries that he's self-destructive) fellow.
Noam Chomsky) as well as his detractors (Alan Dershowitz, shown above, right); and then see the man during a lecture tour of Canada (below).
paigns) go beyond being merely criticial of Israel? "OK," he says at one point, "let's assume that my being anti-Semitic is true? How does this affect the truth of what I am saying? If Albert Einstein had deep identity problems, does this mean his theories were not true?" At the Univiersity of Western Ontario, he is warned about possible violence from an unruly crowd but speaks to them anyway. And they listen. "Why don't you bring up Palestinian terrorists?" he is asked by one audience member. "Why you don't bring up Israel's President?" he responds, "He is the biggest terrorist of them all."
AFA from Thursday, February 11, through Wednesday, February 17, daily at 7 and 9pm, with an additional 5pm screenings Saturday and Sunday. (Click here for more information.) If you live outside New York, click here for information on additional screenings around the country.