IMDb > Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train (2004)

Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train (2004) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
18 June 2004 (USA) See more »
The life and times of Howard Zinn: the historian, activist, and author of several classics including "A Peoples History of the United States". Archival footage, and commentary by friend, colleagues and Zinn himself. | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
An outstanding presentation about an uncommon man See more (5 total) »


  (in credits order)

Matt Damon ... Narrator (voice)
Daniel Berrigan ... Himself

Howard Zinn ... Himself (also archive footage)

Alice Walker ... Herself (archive footage)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Noam Chomsky ... Himself (archive footage)
Daniel Ellsberg ... Himself (archive footage)
Tom Hayden ... Himself (archive footage)
Staughton Lind ... Himself
David Rovics ... Himself
John Silber ... Himself (archive footage)

Marian Wright Edelman ... Herself (archive footage)

Directed by
Deb Ellis 
Denis Mueller 
Produced by
Deb Ellis .... producer
Denis Mueller .... producer
Original Music by
Richard Martinez 
Cinematography by
Judy Hoffman 
Film Editing by
Deb Ellis 
Sound Department
Tom Blakemore .... sound re-recording mixer
Alex Noyes .... narration recordist
Camera and Electrical Department
Michael F. Burke .... camera operator (as Michael Burke)
Thomas C. Gaunt .... camera operator (segment)
Editorial Department
Cyndi Moran .... on-line editor
Aaron Edison .... acknowledgment: archival footage provided by


Additional Details

USA:78 min

Did You Know?

Dr. Howard Zinn was one of the first American authors to write a comprehensive history of the barriers erected by the U.S. Government to prevent equality and constitutionally guaranteed rights amongst the working classes and minority races, and the subsequent violent clashes between protestors, the government, and corporate soldiers.See more »
[first lines]
Zinn, Howard:We grow up in a controlled society, where we are told that when one person kills another person, that is murder, but when the government kills a hundred thousand, that is patriotism.
See more »
There Is Power In A UnionSee more »


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22 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
An outstanding presentation about an uncommon man, 2 January 2006
Author: BringOurTroopsHome from California

Traditional American History textbooks describe the American Revolution as a glorious revolt against tyranny, and the resulting government as a beacon of democracy for the rest of the world. In Zinn's A People's History of the United States, he provides evidence that the revolution served the interests of an elite ruling class, and the resulting government was in many ways as tyrannical as the government it replaced.

By telling history from the point of view of the oppressed, Zinn has transformed the way history is taught in American classrooms. In this cinematic exploration of his life, it becomes clear that he has lived his life in accordance with his principles.

The movie makes excellent use of interviews with important leaders -- Alice Walker, Marian Wright Edelman, Tom Hayden, Daniel Berrigan and others -- to tell about Zinn's influence as a leader against Jim Crow laws in Georgia, as a primary leader of the Peace Movement during the Vietnam War, as a union activist at Boston University, and as a leader in the anti-War movement during the Iraqi conflict.

If you're not familiar with Zinn's writings, you will be inspired to read about him after watching this movie.

Highly recommended.

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