7.4/10
747
5 user 39 critic

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

Not Rated | | Documentary | 18 June 2004 (USA)
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.

Directors:

Deb Ellis, Denis Mueller

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary | Biography | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A film about the noted American linguist/political dissident and his warning about corporate media's role in modern propaganda.

Directors: Mark Achbar, Peter Wintonick
Stars: Noam Chomsky, Mark Achbar, Karin Aguilar-San Juan
Documentary | Biography | News
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The academic and activist Noam Chomsky describes the systems that have led to financial inequality, and the current concentration of wealth and power.

Directors: Peter D. Hutchison, Kelly Nyks, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Noam Chomsky
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

War Made Easy reaches into the Orwellian memory hole to expose a 50-year pattern of government deception and media spin that has dragged the United States into one war after another from ... See full summary »

Directors: Loretta Alper, Jeremy Earp
Stars: Spiro Agnew, Christiane Amanpour, Peter Arnett
Fed Up (2014)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An examination of America's obesity epidemic and the food industry's role in aggravating it.

Director: Stephanie Soechtig
Stars: Michele Simon, Katie Couric, Bill Clinton
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

"The Most Dangerous Man in America" is the story of what happens when a former Pentagon insider, armed only with his conscience, steadfast determination, and a file cabinet full of ... See full summary »

Directors: Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith
Stars: Peter Arnett, Ben Bagdikian, Ann Beeson
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The life and career of the hailed Hollywood movie star and underappreciated genius inventor, Hedy Lamarr.

Director: Alexandra Dean
Stars: Hedy Lamarr, Mel Brooks, Jennifer Hom
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

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 »

Director: Will Pascoe
Stars: Noam Chomsky, Carol Chomsky
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

With the tremendous success of his book, A People's History of the United States, Howard Zinn radically changed the way Americans see themselves. His friend Noam Chomsky says that Zinn ... See full summary »

Directors: Olivier Azam, Daniel Mermet
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Matt Damon ... Narrator (voice)
Daniel Berrigan Daniel Berrigan ... Himself
Howard Zinn ... Himself
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 Staughton Lind ... Himself
David Rovics David Rovics ... Himself
John Silber John Silber ... Himself (archive footage)
Marian Wright Edelman ... Herself (archive footage)
Edit

Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 June 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Говард Зинн: Как сохранить нейтралитет в поезде See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,658, 20 June 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$120,250, 20 February 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

[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 »

Soundtracks

The Ludlow Massacre
Written by Woody Guthrie
Performed by Woody Guthrie
Courtesy of Smithsonian/Folkways Recordings
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The True Believers
25 July 2006 | by orpheus_sailSee all my reviews

This documentary travels deep inside leftist political circles and, perhaps, deep inside any group of true believes who have held the same beliefs for their entire life. The major issues are settled, and there is distrust and an assumption of hostility in the actions of anyone or anything which counters those settled beliefs.

For example, the story of when Dr. Zinn traveled to North Vietnam at the invitation of the NVA to bring 3 POWs home is a story of a peace-loving man traveling to a foreign land in order to bring home three countrymen. There is a blindness to the idea that, for the Soviets and NVA, the propaganda value of undermining US policy by 'negotiating' with a sympathetic leftist superseded any other consideration; this idea is not even given the consideration of a mention, nor are the potential consequences of Dr. Zinn's private diplomacy. Of course, Zinn marvels at the loveliness of the North Vietnamese culture, including having a grand time during a subterranean sing-a-long, and he, of course, makes the requisite denunciation of American bombing. He scoffs at the idea that Americans might have been abused by the NVA, having a good chuckle at the expense of an official who believed that American POWS were being abused; the documentary makes no mention of what's been learned since Zinn had his chuckle. Then, upon Dr. Zinn's return home, he is baffled by the US military and government's desire to examine, debrief, and return the 3 POWs, as opposed to Zinn being allowed to do so, and it is made plain that this is yet another example where a lying hostile US government thwarted the actions of a peace-loving man.

That is not to say Dr. Zinn didn't face other trials. He spoke out against the board of trustees of his university, and there's intense speculation that the tenure he received that day might have been put in jeopardy because of the dark forces at work on the board of trustees. He had to teach at a school with a university president who disagreed with him on politics. He has been arrested after a peace rally where he spoke turned into a riot. He also believes the FBI might have had agents among the crowd at some of his peace rallies. Yet, he has come through and triumphed despite these hardships.

And his triumph includes his belief that there is no need to obey the law. Law, Dr. Zinn tells us, is made by 'flawed, limited, petty' men who then treat it as a 'holy writ', rendering law and courts based on said law as arbitrary as the shifting sands. That there are peaceful methods, such as elections and courts, for changing laws is insufficient. Direct, passionate, and selected rioting will get the government's attention and change things for the better.

Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg also offer commentary.


12 of 75 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed