American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein (2010)
Jewish-American Professor Norman Finkelstein vocalizes his criticism of Israeli policy and his views about what he refers to as the "Holocaust industry" in this documentary from filmmakers Nicolas Rossier and David Ridgen. The son of a Holocaust survivor, Finkelstein makes the controversial claim that the state of Israel uses anti-Semitism as a justification for committing war crimes, and that this troubling trend can be traced back to the Jewish state's invasion of Lebanon in 1982. The film also takes the time to show how Professor Finkelstein's claims have landed him in the hot spot more than a few times, and resulted in the termination of his position at two prominent universities. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein
An engaging portrait of an academic whose work is both fueled and undermined by his vitriolic personality.
While this tenure-challenged Middle Eastern studies professor is hardly pleasant cinematic company, it's tough to look away.
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.
David Ridgen and Nicolas Rossier's docu on Norman Finkelstein, American Radical, promises to prove as controversial as the man himself.
With impressive restraint, the fascinatingly thorny American Radical is less interested in the validity of Finkelstein's ideas -- seriously mounted, if inflammatory -- and more in the topsy-turvy life of today's professional academic.
"American radical" may be a misnomer for an intellectual whose life, thought, and rhetoric have been forcefully shaped by a mother whose concentration-camp experience turned her into a fiery booster for every available underdog.
Paints an empathetic picture of a passionate Palestinian apologist as a loony loudmouth whose rants deserve respect if only because virtually all of his relatives were exterminated in the Holocaust.
While this may be straightforward, politically neutral, documentary filmmaking, its makers have chosen an incendiary subject who pisses most people off the moment he opens his mouth.
A well-balanced, important and timely documentary that's provocative and eye-opening regardless of whether or not you agree with Finkelstein's controversial arguments.
Even for those likely to be sympathetic to his point of view, Norman Finkelstein can be a difficult figure to embrace.
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