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American Radical: Trials of Norman Finkelstein


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American Radical: Trials of Norman Finkelstein + The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering, New Edition 2nd Edition
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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 (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0038GQRLO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,665 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

CUFF/IFP AUDIENCE AWARD
- CUFF

AUDIENCE AWARD
- Cinema Politica

Official Selection
- HOT DOCS

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

DVD EXTRAS:

  • 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

    As with all genuine rebels, he will be hailed and remembered long after he has gone.
    bassammaelborno
    Just like it was said that only Nixon could have gone to China then only someone like Norman can press for fairness in the Palestinian cause.
    Bideford
    This documentary excellently covers Finkelstein's life, private & public persona and the controversy surrounding his intellectual work.
    Jacob W. Roberts

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    66 of 70 people found the following review helpful By A. Smith on April 16, 2010
    Format: DVD
    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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    Format: DVD
    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.
    49 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By S. Amer on April 16, 2010
    Format: DVD
    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 21 people found the following review helpful By Jacob W. Roberts on April 15, 2010
    Format: DVD
    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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    33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Salma Abu Ayyash on April 21, 2010
    Format: DVD
    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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    17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Here,There, Everywhere on April 16, 2010
    Format: DVD
    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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    20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By PLLievTrouillot on April 9, 2010
    Format: DVD
    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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    9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By hazelrah on January 1, 2011
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    This documentary on Norman Finkelstein only reinforces my impression of his being a man with unqualified humanity who simply cannot tolerate social injustice. The cameras follow him around the world as he gives speeches/participates in debates on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, mostly on college campuses, and it interviews his supporters as well as his detractors--those propagandists and apologists for Israeli occupation whose presence and voices in the mainstream media are pervasive. They have called him a self-hating Jew, Holocaust denier and anti-Semite, slandering him all over the Internet, etc. (just as they've done to Noam Chomsky, Justice Richard Goldstone, and any other bearer of the news that Israel has committed war crimes in its 43-year occupation and in its asasult on Gaza). And this despite the fact that he has NEVER denied the Holcaust and this despite both his parents being survivors of it--which obviously affected him acutely. It is not "self-hating" or "self-loathing" to call out one's own ethno-religious group (although Finkelstein is secular) on their continued and longstanding denial of another people's human rights. It is not "progressive" to try to prevent a man whose political opinions differ from your own to lose his tenure bid at the university at which he teaches. It is not "progressive" to institute a massive letter-writing campaign demanding that a book, the findings of which you do not agree with and do not like, not be allowed publication (Finkelstein's "Beyond Chutzpah") because it exposes your own book (Dershowitz's "The Case for Israel") for the pseudo-scholarship that it is. So much for Dershowitz's defense of the civil liberties of Americans.Read more ›
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