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American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein (2009)

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About the life and work of controversial American Jewish academic Norman Finkelstein.
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Credited cast:
Musa Abu-Hashhash
Nidal Barham
Norman Finkelstein
Richard Finkelstein
Raul Hilberg
John Mearsheimer
David Olesker
Len Rudner
Avi Shlaim
Maxine Tsvaigrach


A devoted son of Holocaust survivors and ardent critic of Israeli foreign policy, the polarizing American political scientist and author Norman Finkelstein has been called a lunatic and self-hating Jew by some, and an inspirational revolutionary by others. Exploring the deeply complex issues at the heart of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, American Radical is the insightful and enraging documentary that follows Finkelstein around the world as he attempts to negotiate a voice among impassioned critics and supporters. Uncompromising even in the face of his recent denial of tenure at DePaul University, Finkelstein is a complex and supremely lonely figure whose self-destructive nature often undermines his academic credibility. A guaranteed argument starter, this potent documentary plunges viewers into the psychological and intellectual underpinnings of a vitriolic personality. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

11 February 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Американский радикал  »

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Norman Finkelstein: [commenting on Alan Derschowitz's new book] I was asked to come in and discuss his new book. I went home and purchased one copy. In fact I purchased two copies. I read the book very carefully, I did what someone serious does with a book: I read the text, I went through the footnotes. I went through it very carefully, and there's only one conclusion one can reach having read the book... and this is a scholarly judgment, it's not an ad hominem attack; Mr. Derschowitz has concocted a fraud.
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User Reviews

A Painful Pill
12 January 2011 | by See all my reviews

American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein (2009) is the story of an honest man in an inherently corrupt society.

Norman Finkelstein sees the solution to the Palestinian/Israel conflict as a simple one but the issue has become one of revenge. How can the Palestinian ever forget or forgive the daily atrocities committed on mostly innocent people by Israel?

The term "holocaust industry" is perfectly applicable to the methods used by Israel to frame themselves as the victims in this particular conflict. Literally millions of dollars every year is paid to firms and media outlets to shape the message, create propaganda and stifle criticism of their unmitigated barbarism on the Palestinian people.

What is surprising is that the Jews having suffered so greatly under Naziism would allow themselves to be hijacked into emulating their oppressors rather than becoming an enlightened power for world peace.

American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein (2009) shows clearly the irrational and dishonest behaviour of many spokespeople in support Israel. These talking heads, that included the crudely dishonest Alan Dershowitz, ignore utterly Israel's relentless crimes against humanity and paint a picture of Israel based more on a hyper-reality propagated by the corporate media rather than empirical evidence.

Alan Dershowitz's blatant dishonesty and surprising ignorance does not bode well for the future of American academia. His bitterness at being so thoroughly bested and exposed as a fraud by Norman Finkelstein on the program "Democracy Now" resulted in a vile yet successful campaign to ostracise Finkelstein from the American educational system.

Norman Finkelstein does only one thing, he tells the truth. The trouble with Finkelstein, is he is able to express his message eloquently and succinctly. In times where Truth is rapidly becoming unknowable due to disinformation, lies and insidious forms of corporate propaganda, Finkelstein and his message is, as he himself states, "a painful pill."

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