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Noam Chomsky: Rebel Without a Pause (2003)

Not Rated | | Documentary, War | 15 April 2004 (USA)
Linguist, intellectual and activist, Noam Chomsky discusses and reflects on the state of world events including the War in Iraq, September 11th, the War on Terror, Media Manipulation and ... See full summary »


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Cast overview:
Noam Chomsky ... Himself
Carol Chomsky Carol Chomsky ... Herself


Linguist, intellectual and activist, Noam Chomsky discusses and reflects on the state of world events including the War in Iraq, September 11th, the War on Terror, Media Manipulation and Control, Social Activism, Fear, and American Foreign Policy in both large forums and in small interactive discussions with other intellectuals, activists, fans, students and critics. Interwoven, is Dr. Carol Chomsky, Noam's wife and manager who reflects on what drives Noam and what life is like with him. Other candid reflections about Noam Chomsky and his thoughts, work and influece are offerred by others throughout the film. Written by Steve Lawrence <telawrence@hotmail.com>

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Documentary | War


Not Rated






Release Date:

15 April 2004 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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Did You Know?


Noam Chomsky: You look through hundreds of years of history, the West has a virtual monopoly of violence, so, massive terror is the kind of thing *we* do to *them*, you know. They're not supposed to do it to us. September 11th was the first break. It was the first time in hundreds of years that any Western country has suffered on home soil the kind of the thing they do routinely everywhere else.
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References Rebel Without a Cause (1955) See more »


You're So Cool
Composed by Hans Zimmer
Courtesy of Morgan Creek Music Group
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User Reviews

A brilliant view of a brilliant man!
31 May 2003 | by telawrenceSee all my reviews

In America, we rarely see Chomsky on TV. In this age of "uber-patriotism" and statements from our leader saying, "you are either with us or against us" it's refreshing to hear a major American intellectual actually discuss the state of the union in regards to a larger world. "Rebel Without A Pause" deals with September 11th, American's place in the world, the war on terror, media control and manipulation and activist movements in the world today. I have also seen the other recent Chomsky documentary "Power and Terror" which is nothing> more than two dated Chomsky lectures book ending a lengthy and poorly-run interview with Chomsky. (who looked like he didn't even want to be there.)

In "Rebel Without A Pause" we see Chomsky in action on several important fronts. We hear him talking about many issues but most importantly we see him talking about Iraq, which makes this Chomsky documentary very timely. (the "Power and Terror" documentary was done a year and a half-ago and seems dated by comparison). "Rebel Without A Pause" seems to have been done very recently. In "Rebel...", we see Chomsky engaged with students and academics in lectures and small discussions - and he actually discusses (and argues) the finer points with others in this interesting documentary. What was a real treat, however, was the commentary and reflections of others that are scattered throughout the film (activists, intellectuals, and critics all discuss Chomsky and his views). You can see why the old guy is so popular with college kids today who seem to surround him throughout the film. For all its excellent points, the real gem in "Rebel Without A Pause" is wife and manager Carol Chomsky who charms the audience with every word. She tells us what it's like to live with a famous intellectual (she seems to think he talks too much and talks too often!) and gives us unparalleled insight into what makes the 75-year old intellectual tick and what motivates him to spend most of his time on the road talking about the state of America and the world when many of his contemporaries and critics have packed it in.

This is an important film and if you can see it you should. There are lessons and points about how our government works and acts globally, that we never see on CNN. To hear an alternate point-of-view is a rare thing these days. Chomsky also tells a story in the film about why he's rarely on US television (he's seen as a threat). I saw this film on a recent trip to Canada and given the recent war in Iraq, I doubt we will see "Rebel Without A Pause" on PBS or any other American media outlet for the very reasons Chomsky himself explains within the film. Chomsky's story almost seemed like a joke -- an interesting way to use a media outlet like this film to criticize other media outlets for stifling alternative thought and discourse). While I thought the war in Iraq was justified, Chomsky's comments on American foreign policy did make me wonder about ulterior motives in my government and with Iran becoming a bigger issue, it seems the old intellectual is not only smart, he's also prophetic.

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