Paul Goodman Changed My Life (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

Paul Goodman Changed My Life (2011)



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Paul Goodman's 1960 best-seller, Growing Up Absurd, became a cornerstone of countercultural thinking, alongside books like The Medium Is The Message, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and The Feminine Mystique. Goodman was a polymath: a poet, essayist, playwright, and psychotherapist. He was candid about his bisexuality while maintaining a marriage and raising two children. Jonathan Lee weaves together old and new footage of those who extol Goodman's virtues, as well as his adamant detractors (often one and the same), including Grace Paley, Ned Rorem, Deborah Meier, William F. Buckley, Susan Sontag, and Judith Malina. An abrasive and contradictory figure, Goodman's influence was nonetheless immense. Today, much of what passes as common knowledge in the fields of education, politics, psychology, urban planning, civil rights, and sexual politics was first posited by him nearly half a century ago. -- (C) Zeitgeist Filmsmore
Rating: PG
Genre: Documentary
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 17, 2012
Box Office: $31.5k
Zeitgeist Films - Official Site

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Critic Reviews for Paul Goodman Changed My Life

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (13)

It is generally pungent and enlightening.

Full Review… | June 19, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

In this heady documentary, TV footage of left-wing social critic Paul Goodman being interviewed by conservative host William F. Buckley Jr. in 1966 makes one realize how low public discourse in America has sunk since then.

Full Review… | January 6, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

As documentaries go, it's an able introduction that doesn't make its subject nearly as relevant to our current discontents as it could.

Full Review… | January 3, 2012
Boston Globe
Top Critic

"Paul Goodman Changed My Life" is a documentary about a man who changed mine.

Full Review… | December 30, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

The movie effectively uses Goodman's poems to illustrate his life.

Full Review… | December 30, 2011
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

What makes him such an interesting biographic sketch for a film, however, is the way Goodman undercut his own successes.

Full Review… | December 9, 2011
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Paul Goodman Changed My Life

Goodman is a social commentator that I wasn't particularly knowledgeable about. He certainly played second fiddle to the Beat Generation and then later by Chomsky. I feel grateful for this film as a result. Goodman is certainly an intriguing guy and the film makers give him his adequate due.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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