Ahead of Time (2010)
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Critic Reviews for Ahead of Time
Through interviews, photos and letters, Robert Richman's documentary gives insight into Gruber's life as well as the immense potential that comes with an irrepressible personality and a good dose of patience.
The film packs a staggering amount of Gruber's life into 75 minutes.
There are points where shots of Gruber's old newspaper clips actually supply clearer information than the narrative (for quick-reading viewers, at any rate).
Although Gruber's personal life and latter accomplishments are mostly addressed via a few closing sentences, Ahead remains a fleet and fitting tribute.
[This] graceful documentary portrait directed by Bob Richman, illustrates just how extraordinary her life [subject Ruth Gruber] has been.
Audience Reviews for Ahead of Time
"Ahead of Time" is a mildly interesting documentary that serves as a pedestrian walk back through time for Dr. Ruth Gruber who at 96 finds herself recalling events from her fabulous life. At the age of 20, she earned a doctorate on the books of Virginia Woolf in Cologne, Germany where she also heard Adolf Hitler speak, just to see if he was as evil as everybody was saying he was. After that, it was hard finding work as a writer in the Great Depression but she eventually landed assignments from the New York Herald Tribune, serving as a role model for women in the same way that Virginia Woolf had served for her.(For example, Dava Sobel is her niece.) Through Ruth Gruber's life, she was a trailblazer but it was not until after World War II when the historical impact of her actions began to take hold. It was then that she covered the plight of Jewish refugees, showing their suffering for all the world to see, especially the story of the ship Exodus which attempted to bring some of them to Palestine against British orders. Not surprisingly the passengers' ordeal was more complex than in the Otto Preminger movie. What's ironic is the copy of a Preminger biography amongst all the other books in her apartment. It definitely helps that Ike Aronowitz, the captain of the Exodus, and Mordechai Rossman, the leader of the refugees, are on hand to be interviewed. But this is where the documentary ends, too, only disclosing the books Ruth Gruber wrote later and that she would get married and have two children.
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