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American Radical: Trials of Norman Finkelstein

Norman Finkelstein , Noam Chomsky , David Ridgen , Nicolas Rossier  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky, Alan Dershowitz
  • Directors: David Ridgen, Nicolas Rossier
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Typecast Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: May 18, 2010
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0038GQRLO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,519 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description


- Cinema Politica

Official Selection

Official Selection
- Sheffield, DOC FEST

A devoted son of Holocaust survivors and ardent critic of Israeli foreign policy, the polarizing American political scientist and author Norman Finkelstein has been called a lunatic and self-hating Jew by some, and an inspirational revolutionary by others. Uncompromising even in the face of his denial of tenure at DePaul University, Finkelstein is revealed as a complex, politically isolated figure who puts the pursuit of justice above the security of his academic career. Exploring the difficult and deeply-felt issues at the heart of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, American Radical is the insightful and enraging documentary that follows Finkelstein around the world as he attempts to negotiate a powerful voice among his impassioned critics and supporters.

"For us, Norman Finkelstein is the consummate documentary subject: a complex firebrand, principled to the end, at the apex of some of the world's longest conflicts. He rarely appears in mainstream media, yet always ends up in controversies. Finkelstein's life is about focus, through a prism of his upbringing by Holocaust survivors. The dogged, relentless pursuit of his principles and foes can both inspire and repel. At once agitator, comedian, and merciless scholar, Finkelstein creates as many storms as he enters. Few will go where he does a Jew deliberately walking into Hezbollah headquarters, into a Palestinian refugee camp, or into a room filled with those who vehemently oppose his views to speak his mind. When radicals collide, does it create more understanding? Some would argue that it does. Others would claim that Finkelstein's principled but too often bitter advocacy does much to discredit the cause of a just resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Audiences can decide for themselves."
- Directors David Ridgen & Nicolas Rossier


  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Typecast Movie Trailers
  • Language: English
  • Review

    American Radical is a powerful film brave, bold, incendiary. I highly recommend it! --Michael Moore, award-winning documentary filmmaker

    American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein' is a cautiously respectful documentary portrait of a political firebrand who presents himself as a beacon of moral truth in the murk of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. --New York Times

    Surprisingly entertaining...a compelling portrait of a difficult man. --The Jewish Daily Forward

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars American Radical April 16, 2010
    I recently got a chance to watch the documentary "American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein" and I'd have to say that this is such a poignant documentary that was put together remarkably well. It maintained an impartial and balanced objective as it managed to allot equal air time to both those who are on Finkelsteins side and those who believe that he is completely wrong.
    How rare is that in documentaries?

    Its very brave to be so bold and stand up for what you believe in, even when it costs you dearly...
    That is completely respectable in my book, definitely turned me into a fan of this man.
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    43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
    Having listened to Norman Finkelstein speak at King's College last year, I was very much looking forward to seeing this film, and I was not disappointed. Leaving aside the politics, this film takes a deeply personal look at Finkelstein's life and analyses the roots of his beliefs regarding the Israel-Palestine question, exploring his mother's influence, her experiences in Auschwitz, and consequently, her inherent, all-pervading sense of justice.

    Essential viewing for an objective view of the conflict, and it sends a strong, inspiring message for anyone wishing to uncover the truth. It certainly doesn't shy away from controversy, but the subject matter is handled with respect, as it includes commentary from both Finkelstein's advocates and opponents, including Alan Dershowitz (author of The Case for Israel). Simply a must for anyone who's ever needed inspiration to stand up for what they believe in.
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    28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A different source of media April 16, 2010
    By S. Amer
    I really liked it. The current state of the media got to a point where the claim of "fair and balanced" can not be true. The bias in the mainstream media gets to its worse degree when it comes to the Israel-Palestine issue. This documentary might be considered biased in its own way, however, it's far more balanced than your typical "mainstream" media. The dedication Dr.Nnorman Finkelstein shows in this documentary is a good lesson to whoever wants to work in this field (raising awareness among Americans).
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    20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Honest and fair April 15, 2010
    This documentary excellently covers Finkelstein's life, private & public persona and the controversy surrounding his intellectual work. In it you'll find some of his finest achievement and public moments, along with a portrayal of what makes him up psychologically and (somewhat regrettably) the views of his detractors like Alan Dershowitz (shudder). This doc is a must-see for the Finkelstein fan and opponent alike.
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    17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars The Voice of Conviction April 16, 2010
    American Radical: Trials of Norman Finkelstein beautifully illustrates the conviction that Dr. Norman Finkelstein has for his beliefs and the great hardships, emotionally as well as environmental, he has faced to be honest to himself and speak the truth as he sees it. As a son of Holocaust survivors, Dr. Finkelstein has especially come under harsh criticism by many in the Jewish community. Not ashamed of his Jewish background, tough vocal critics try to assign the title of self-hating to Dr. Finkelstein, his career is a testiment to doing the right thing in the face of hypocrisy. An activist against violent agression, Dr. Finkelstein is not only inspiring for academics, but can be understood by the novice learning about differing opinions. This movie does an excellent job of balancing the private, public, academic and a bit tortured aspects of Dr. Finkelsteins live without compromising in a way that leaves Dr. Finkelstein appearing infalliable.
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    33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting Documentary April 21, 2010
    A riveting and engaging film portraying a tireless and amazing man fighting for freedom of speech and a just peace in Palestine/ Israel. Mr. Finkelstein's scholarship, passion, humility and humanity are unmatched and they come through so clearly in this film. He's an unsung hero of this country and I thank the filmmakers for bringing attention to him. Although the film does not go in depth into his scholarship and the issues for which the Zionist lobby, organized or individuals, have gone after him for, I still think the film succeeds in bringing to the surface the problems with academic censorship and Zionist control over the discourse in this country.
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    20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
    This film while maybe not dwelling enough for some into the history of the IP conflict is a great introduction to the world of this much debated scholar. There are gripping scenes shot in refugee camps in Lebanon as well as excellent parts in Israel including one with one of Finkelstein's main critics, the well spoken David Olesker who turns out to be quite sympathetic. The directors approached their subject with respect and subtlety and did not shy away from challenging him on every important aspects of his work and personality. Overall this is probably the best political docs I have seen in a long time. Given the tone of un­compromising adulation that can describe most bio pics like this one, viewers will be surprised at how honnest this film is.
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    10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars American Radical: Trials of Norman Finkelstein May 21, 2011
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    Norman Finkelstein is a beacon of truth for the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. This DVD follows the lifework of a man devoted to bringing justice and peace to the Palestinians . . . as well as exposing the actions taken by the Israelis, that impede an agreement to be reached between the two. This portrayal holds your interest from beginning to end. The truth is simple . . . the lies complicate the issue.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    3.0 out of 5 stars Good, with a number of revealing moments.
    “You don’t know what Norman Finkelstein is. He’s poison. He’s a disgusting self-hating Jew. He’s something you find under a rock. Read more
    Published 22 days ago by Alex Sheremet Dot Com
    5.0 out of 5 stars An impressive portrait of a political prophet
    I can only repeat the praises of the other reviews. This is a very good documentary. Norman Finkelstein's personality is depicted with subtlety. Read more
    Published 27 days ago by German Reader
    5.0 out of 5 stars A Remarkable Documentary about a Remarkable Man
    In the limited time of a documentary, this film presents beautifully the fascinating personality of a Jewish man whose life has been guided by courage and principles, instead of... Read more
    Published 20 months ago by Curatica
    5.0 out of 5 stars A Well Needed Voice
    What bravery it is to go against the grain. Norman has done that and paid the price. Just like it was said that only Nixon could have gone to China then only someone like Norman... Read more
    Published 20 months ago by Bideford
    5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent documentary
    This documentary follows Norman Finkelstein on various college speaking engagements after the success of his book The Holocaust Industry. Read more
    Published 22 months ago by Ian
    1.0 out of 5 stars Help the Jewish Antisemites Eat
    It is a known fact that Chomsky and Finkelstein are kept isolated by the academia, together with a number of other antisemitic Jews. Read more
    Published on September 25, 2012 by Jaysonrex
    5.0 out of 5 stars The Human Side of Norman Finkelstein
    After watching this film I was moved to tears ( not crocodile tears either). Aside from Dr. Finkelstein's passion and drive, his demeanor and ability to laugh off an angry mob, I... Read more
    Published on February 24, 2012 by Maryann C
    5.0 out of 5 stars A Noble Soul
    What a remarkable Being.

    Resolve such as this unequivocally emanates from a very deep seated sense of Humanity. Read more
    Published on December 2, 2011 by bassammaelborno
    5.0 out of 5 stars Prof. Norman is one of a kind
    Prof. Norman Finkelstien is highly committed to his principles. His one and only motivation is to reach peace in practice and to allow justice to manifest. He gives me hope.
    Published on October 7, 2011 by Bothayna
    5.0 out of 5 stars Profound, insightful, human
    I was looking forward to watching this documentary as I have listened to many of Dr. Finkelstein's lectures and debates. Read more
    Published on September 8, 2011 by Khalid Mansour
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