Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox (2007)
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Critic Reviews for Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox
A patently nice man, Ralph is a not very compelling figure.
It's like Capturing the Friedmans scrubbed to a happy ending.
What emerges is a complex portrait of a man who cares more for humanity than for his own children, often left to languish in orphanages while their father scoured bodies and minds.
The self-indulgent film also suffers from a lack of focus.
A bittersweet story of a family and the surprising effects a crusading eccentric can have on them.
Although the segments featuring Bronner's son, Ralph, veer uncomfortably toward hagiography, director Sara Lamm balances out the love fest by exploring the dark side of being a soap-hawking prophet and the toll that ALL-ONE-FAITH took on Bronner's family.
Audience Reviews for Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox
"Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox" is a moderately interesting documentary about Dr. Emmanuel Bronner who left Europe as the Nazis came to power, leaving behind relatives who died in the Holocaust. In America, he founds a successful company which fulfils the basic requirement for the American dream. That does not satisfy him, as he puts his personal philosophy of Moral ABC's and uniting the world on every bottle of soap he sells.(I had never heard of his soap before but then I am so totally ignorant of most consumer products.) And then there is the small matter of him being confined to a mental hospital which he escapes from in 1947, eventually making his way to Los Angeles.(In a promotional photo, he looks exactly like a stereotypical mad scientist.) Did I mention that he never shuts up, even now that he is dead? Or that he was blind? In the present day, his son Ralph continues to spread the word and the soap, as the company continues on, run by Emmanuel's grandsons, providing bonuses and equitable salaries to all of its employees, despite Emmanuel's ardent anti-Communism.
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