Bukowski: Born into This (2003)


Critic Consensus: A thoroughly engrossing documentary examining the life of talented but troubled writer Charles Bukowski.


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Movie Info

Advertising writer John Dullaghan makes his feature-length directorial debut with the documentary Bukowski: Born Into This. The infamous poet, novelist, and screenwriter Charles Bukowski has made a legacy of writing about hard living in a unique prose style. His work paralleled his lifestyle, leading to the autobiographical novels Women, Hollywood, and Post Office. This documentary investigates his life through archival clips, interviews, and footage of the man himself. He appears at a public reading in San Francisco's City Lights Bookstore. Conversations with Bukowski's friends, including rock star Bono and actor Sean Penn, reveals some personal stories and experiences. Bukowski: Born Into This was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize in the documentary competition at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.

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Critic Reviews for Bukowski: Born into This

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (19)

An amazing, worthy journey.

Oct 28, 2004 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Provides an overview of Bukowski's work and allows us to gaze into the soul of a man who built a fortress of toughness around his vulnerable core.

Aug 20, 2004 | Rating: B+

The filmmaker knows when to shift the rhythm of his investigation. The authenticity of art is woven with the artifice of life.

Aug 20, 2004 | Rating: 3/4

Over a period of seven years, Dullaghan interviewed hundreds of people who knew or were affected by Bukowski. The result is both wide-ranging and intimate.

Jul 30, 2004 | Rating: 3/4

How much was legend, how much was pose, how much was real? I think it was all real, and the documentary suggests as much.

Jul 16, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Dullaghan's raw and defining documentary about the man -- and the myth.

Jul 15, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bukowski: Born into This

A heartfelt, interesting portrait of one of America's greatest writers. The presence of Bono felt completely out of place and even a bit intrusive, but aside from that I enjoyed everything about this film.

Mike T.
Mike T.

Super Reviewer

moving documentary on the mad poet bukowski who never compromised his work. a powerful portrait of a brave yet fragile man who some would call an asshole

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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