An Unreasonable Man (2007)
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Critic Reviews for An Unreasonable Man
This fascinating documentary examines the issues raised by Nader's runs for the presidency...that shone a powerful light into our grubby political shadows, and also played a part...that twice put George W. Bush into the White House.
It can't help but remind us that the man Nader prevented from becoming president has since been more instrumental in the war on environmental pollution than any other public figure. Irony abounds.
You may walk away from it still wondering why Nader persisted in running for president in 2004 after being repeatedly begged not to. But, whether or not you admire the decision, the film forces you to admire the determination with which Nader made it.
This documentary starts out as a fascinating profile of consumer advocate Ralph Nader, but it ends up getting derailed by a political discussion marked by an abundance of whining.
The first half of the movie is an absorbing study of this part of Nader's public life, and then it switches -- as he did -- to politics, where the results for both him and the picture are less cheerful.
Audience Reviews for An Unreasonable Man
This documentary tells the story of Ralph Nader's life in the run up to the 2000 Presidential election.
This film is bookended by liberals, who are incensed at Nader, talking about how he ruined the country and tarnished his legacy. Then, the film details his legacy in length, highlighting Unsafe at any Speed and the several other initiatives Nader championed as a consumer advocate. But it eventually returns to a debate about Nader's decision to run in Florida, contrasting liberals' objections with Nader's defenses.
I found myself liking Nader by the end of the film and dismissing his detractors. Nader's tenacity and moral commitment are things I admire, and the film does too.
Overall, I think An Unreasonable Man is worth watching because there are reasons to respect this man no matter what his influence on American politics has been.
The directors really know their stuff, and focus on keeping everything from Nader's perspective. Word has it from the directors that Nader enjoys the movie himself, but mostly spent his screening thinking about other ways of helping society. I'm sure most intelligent people will do the same during the course of this picture. Less Nader biography, more "One Man Can Make A Difference" moral.
[font=Century Gothic]"An Unreasonable Man" is an enlightening documentary about consumer advocate Ralph Nader, starting with his childhood in Connecticut, through his landmark case against the Big 3 automakers, writing "Unsafe at Any Speed", promoting safety and founding numerous public interest groups. Throughout Nader's career, his relationship with Democratic Presidents is cordial starting with Lyndon Johnson and is optimistic when Jimmy Carter is elected, followed by the disappointment when reality sets in. That is followed by the eventual corporatization of the Democratic party through the rise of the Political Action Committees. Even when dicussing his work, the main focus is on Nader's controversial run for the Presidency in 2000. [/font][font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]It is clear that Nader presented a valid alternative to a right-wing party and a week-kneed corporate party in 2000. Through testimony from both supporters and detractors, the documentary makes an excellent case that Nader should not be held as the scapegoat for the results of the 2000 election, as there were many factors involved.(The 2000 Florida shenanigans are barely mentioned.) And please remember that all candidates have to earn their votes.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]The documentary seeks to redeem Nader's reputation but he strikes me as somebody without an ego, whose job and life it is to fight the good fight, in saving lives. In short, he does not care about his legacy.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Note: I did vote for Ralph Nader in both 1996 and 2000. [/font]
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