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183 of 199 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2012
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This independently produced documentary is the story of Atlas Shrugged, including what led Rand to write it, how it was received by critics (loathed), by readers (loved), how it's remained a bestseller year after year for over half a century now and how - horrors! - the novel's scenario is being played out today in real life. Rand said: 'Identify a society's core philosophy and you can predict its future.' The film early on raises the question: how did she know fifty some years ago what America was going to be like today? And then goes on to examine the change in American thinking that took place over the course of the 20th century that led us to where we are now. Those unfamiliar with Rand and her philosophy of Objectivism might be surprised or not agree with her ideas but there's plenty to think about here. And you don't have to have read the book - or any Rand book - to get a lot out of it. Highly recommended for Atlas fans and those looking to familiarize themselves with Rand's ideas and their relationship to today's headlines.
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58 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2012
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
If you have heard about "Atlas Shrugged" and Ayn Rand but haven't had the time or the patience to read the book, then this documentary is for you. It's a brief and concise account of Ayn Rand's philosophy of objectivism as presented in her novels "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged." It also gives a brief account of Ayn Rand's life, the writing of "Atlas Shrugged," its critical reception (universally panned) and its commercial success. It has not been out of print since it was originally published, and since the financial crisis and recession has sold several hundred thousand copies every year for the simmple reason that much of what she predicted has come true. Unless we pull back from the brink, it is very likely that the full dystopian world of "Atlas Shrugged" will arrive by mid-century.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2012
Format: DVD
Ayn Rand predicted the kind of world that would result if her philosophy (Objectivism) was not accepted and adopted by the western world, especially the USA. Her prophetic prose have come to pass, according to this video. Rand predicted a world where crony capitalism would rule the USA while politicians lied to the people about what they were doing... or going to do. She prophesied a world where people who produced anything were subject to rapacious government obligations and taxes while the economy languished in a swallow of high taxes and government restrictions. All this has come to pass, according to Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged. Ayn Rand's prophecy is now upon us and we are reaping what we have sown. She warned, in the 1960's, what would happen if the USA and the west did not depart from its course of government intrusion upon the productive people... upon the thinkers and producers... upon the free mind. This documentary contends that all this is now a fact and we are suffering mightily because of it.

Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand's magnum opus; the summation of her philosophy of objectivism. This documentary, to be really good, has to sum up that philosophy well. Does it do that? I think the summary of objectivism is well done, but somewhat lacking in the in depth and quality needed to fully explain her philosophy and its outcomes. Ayn Rand was an unrestricted capitalist. Government had to get totally out of the economic system so it can sprint along propelled by the energy of free minds. But she was also an atheist who rejected any idea of God (god) as mystic. She thought that production was the key reason and purpose of humanity. The documentary does not go into Rand's ideas that throughly. We find out she is a capitalist that demanded a minimum of government in people's lives, but we do not discover the depths of her atheism and the resulting "production" as purpose in human life.

Nonetheless, it does explain that Rand did predict the conflict in the west that we face today. Reason vs. Mysticism, in Rand's term (see Philosophy, Who Needs It?). While the documentary fails to mention Kant and his philosophy, in Rand's writings Kant is the major villain who pushed the west into its present predicament. It is the rejection of Kantian philosophy that is necessary for us to move forward. Because we have not rejected that philosophy, and its inherent call on mysticism and irrationally, we have failed to release the full potential of the human mind and thus stifled the one true source of human energy and advancement - the human mind. Rand thought to release the mind one must have freedom, both political and economic. Any restrictions on these freedoms was a restriction on the human mind and thus restricted the basic source of human resourcefulness and power. Because we have chosen to continue and expand the restrictions on these freedoms we will suffer complete obliteration, economic and mental, at the hands of the irrationalist.

Whatever one may think, the west is having some fundamental problems and may not climb out of its self produced epistemological hole. Was she right? This documentary raises and, at least, points to an easily understood conflict in western philosophy. You must be the judge; however, in the opinion of this film Rand was correct and we can now see that her warning went unheeded. We face total annihilation of the western way of thinking because of the rejection of her philosophy and the continued acceptance of Kant.

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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon September 5, 2013
Format: DVD
In 1957, author and philosopher Ayn Rand published her book, Atlas Shrugged. At the time (Eisenhower was in the White House, General Motors dominated the worldwide auto industry, and all was right with the world!) it seemed like an unbelievable dystopia. Now, some 56 years later, the book seems less like fiction and more like today's headlines!

This fascinating documentary, which was released in 2011, gives the story of Ayn Rand and her magnum opus. The book tells the story of Ms. Rand's life in Russia, her immigration to the U.S., and her discovery that the same root philosophy that resulted in the horror of communism was already at work, undermining the nation's future. Then, it goes on to tell of her literary life, her triumphs and disappointments (more of the latter than the former), and of the impact her writings have had.

Overall, I found this to be a great documentary. Even if you don't agree with Ms. Rand or her philosophy, it is a very interesting look at a woman who has had a large (but largely ignored!) impact on American thinking. I really enjoyed it, and don't hesitate to recommend it!
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81 of 100 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2012
Format: DVD
The documentary, at times, felt like an infomercial for the book (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), but that's the only negative. It's a bit of a refresher course on Atlas, it provides great insight into Rand's goal, adds to ones understanding of the book and helps dovetail her prophecy with the world we live in today. If you took the time to read the book (which clearly was a major commitment) another 90 minutes won't be that difficult.
The documentary also walks you through Ayn Rand's life and helps the viewer understand why she wrote the book.
The movie reminded me that I need to go out and find new people who might learn from the book. As I left the theater, I actually considered reading it a third time...thankfully, I quickly came to my senses (LOL!)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 18, 2012
Format: DVD
In observing the new rise of collectivism and socialism in the United States, you definitely get the feeling that Ayn Rand was absolutely correct in her books. The takers start outnumbering the makers and things go downhill from there. Business is demonized. Capitalism is called evil. People are treated as groups, not as individuals. This is certainly the direction of the country now.

But Ayn Rand was not right about everything (her ideas on religion were biased) and there is a good chance her "prophecies" will not become completely accurate. If they do, the United States will certainly become a Third World country dominated by other countries who adopted our former economic system. My view is that we will learn our lessons from collectivism and too big and too intrusive government to eventually turn things around. At least that is my hope.

Ayn Rand's ideas are always worth listening to. You will broaden your mind.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2015
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
No one these days can read Atlas Shrugged and look at any news report and not be horrified.

I'm in my late 30's and returned to college a few years ago. We covered Ayn Rand's philosophy in one of my classes. Myself and one other student were the only ones who said, "Ya, maybe she has something there." Almost instantly we were shunned and looked at as monsters. I really wish I was lying about this, but it's true. We were met with comments about how selfish we both were, how we had no morals and what horrible people we were and how we will die alone. Never mind that I've been married for 19 years and counting. Never mind that I volunteer at a shelter. No, clearly I'm a monster because I want to live my life and give back as I want, not as I am currently being forced to with my tax dollars.

At this rate, I fear for the America that my nieces and nephews will inherit. I truly do. We live in Rand's fictional world right now. There's no "Maybe in the future it might happen." It's here and now. Never before have our rights as Americans been infringed upon like it is now. You can't speak your mind or you are branded with some negative stamp. We have people in the news now who it's been proven they are paid to Not brand companies as being "racist." If you give them large sums of cash you're not "racist" but if you don't here come the smear campaigns! Horrifyingly, people think that's apparently ok! The worst part is, it's not just happening in America.

This doc ends on a high note of hope. Anyone who knows the story of Pandora knows, hope was left in the box. Real life has shown me the high note this doc leaves you with is not reality at all.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2015
Format: DVD
I read the entire book of Atlas Shrugged. I've read much of the comments and reviews of this and find them classically predictable. If you are liberal, you hate it! Today we have 50% of the population living in some form off the government boob producing nothing, paying no income tax and the other 50% paying out their nose in taxes to try to support them. The liberals call that "altruism". I call it manufactured dependence. Our deficit is now well over 18 trillion dollars but the liberals have such tunnel vision that that number doesn't even register. It just doesn't register. Instead of having programs to help people help themselves, the liberal wants the welfare faucet left wide open and unattended. They don't even know that if you took every single dollar, literally every single dollar from the producing rich, you could only pay for 8 days of government spending. Her prophecy has already come true. We are printing money like crazy telling the masses we are fine. You can't make a liberal accept reality when their minds are closed like a steel trap. Rand predated what would happen to this country and it has, that's a fact.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This video is a wonderful insight to the the thinking of Ayn Rand and the prophecy of Atlas Shrugged. We have read the book 2 times already and read bits of it here and there, and it just amazes us how she had the forsight to see what this Country was becoming in the 1950's. Of course her experiences of growing up in Russia helped immensely, to see the path that we were heading toward. Yes, I would recommend this to anyone who wants to know more about the book and it's author.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2013
Format: DVD
Rather that consider this as a 1000+ page book, consider it as a trilogy of three 340 page books. This is the way they are presented even though they are in a single volume. Conservatives and libertarians will love it while liberals will detest it. Why? The book reads like it is coming from today's news stories.
Two quotes and a paragraph from the book (ISBN 978-0-451-19114-4):

"Society is suffering fro lack of business opportunities at the moment, so we've got the right to seize such opportunities as exist. Right is whatever's good for society. 'He didn't dig that ore single-handed, did he?' cried Phillip . . .." (page 131)

After a catastrophic railroad disaster that killed many, including a politician: "He had received word of the catastrophe at eight o'clock this morning . . .. The men who had been his marked cards -- in a game he knew how to play -- were gone. Clifton Locey was barricaded behind the statement of a doctor who had announced that Mr. Locey was suffering from a heart condition which made it impossible to disturb him at present." (page 573)

"The reporters who came to the press conference in the office of the John Galt Line were young men who had been trained to think that their joy consisted of concealing from the world the nature of its events. It was their daily duty to serve as audience for some public figure who made utterances about the public good, in phrases carefully chosen to convey no meaning. It was their daily job to sling words together in any combination they pleased, so long as the words did not fall into a sequence saying something specific." (page 219)

"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted -- and you create a nation of law breakers -- and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the game Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with." (page 404)

And finally:

"I saw the tax-collecting vermin that had grown for centuries like mildew on d'Anconia Copper, draining us by no right that anyone could name -- I saw the government regulations passed to cripple me, because I was successful, and to help my competitors, because they were loafing failures -- I saw the labor unions who won every claim against me, by reason of my ability to make their livelihood possible -- I saw that any man's desire for money he could not earn was regarded as a righteous wish, but if he earned it, it was damned as greed -- I saw the politicians who winked at me, telling me not to worry, because I could just work a little harder and out smart them all. I looked past the profits of the moment, and I saw that the harder I worked, the more I tightened the noose around my throat. I saw that my energy was being poured down the sewer, that the parasites who fed on me were being fed upon in their turn, that they were caught in their own trap -- and that there was no reason for it, no answer known to anyone, . . .. And then I saw that the whole industrial establishment of the world, with all of its transatlantic cables, its mahogany offices, it stock exchanges, its blazing electric signs, its power, its wealth -- all of it was run, not by bankers and boards of directors, but by any unshaved humanitarian in any basement beer joint, by any face pudgy with malice, who preached that virtue must be penalized for being virtue, that the purpose of ability is to serve incompetence. That man has no right to exist except for the sake of others . . .I knew it." (page 702)

Consequently, as the story progresses the conservatives and libertarians will be saying, "We told you so." while the liberals will deny that we are heading in the same direction as the story leads us. While we do not have a John Galt yet, we are seeing those that are taking similar approaches as those that John Galt selected.
The only failure of the plot that I see is that even after the collapse, the producers will build it back up but the same looters will exist and the cycle will just start over. History tells us that we will continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. In fact, the US is only the most recent on the same path to decline through the path of socialism. All we can hope to do is to learn the lessons from a novel that we refuse to learn from history and delay the inevitable until we pass this onto the next generation and let them read the book and save themselves.
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