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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 Musa Abu-Hashhash
Nidal Barham Nidal Barham
Noam Chomsky
Alan M. Dershowitz ... Himself
Norman Finkelstein Norman Finkelstein
Richard Finkelstein Richard Finkelstein
Raul Hilberg Raul Hilberg
John Mearsheimer John Mearsheimer
David Olesker David Olesker
Len Rudner Len Rudner
Avi Shlaim Avi Shlaim
Maxine Tsvaigrach 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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USA | Canada | Palestine | Israel | Lebanon



Release Date:

11 February 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Американский радикал See more »

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Norman Finkelstein: [on being called a self-hating jew] Okay, for argument's sake let's assume it's true. Let's say I have deep identity conflicts. Let's assume it's all true. What's the relevance? The only relevant question is whether what I'm saying is true or false. Let's say Einstein had deep identity conflicts. How does that influence one's judgment about his physics?
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The Humanity of the Rebel
27 January 2012 | by bassammaelbornoSee all my reviews

What a remarkable Being.

Resolve such as this unequivocally emanates from a very deep seated sense of Humanity.

He unwaveringly challenges with a banner of Morality and Ethics in one hand and Factual Truths in the other.

Such a Noble individual, to stand against many of those within his own religious faith, knowing them to be Wrong.

This can only be true Righteousness.

Whether he is of Jewish faith or not, appears to be far less relevant to him than are his guiding Moral Values and Ethical Principles.

His profound sense of Humanity was undoubtedly nurtured early in life by his mother and what she came away with, from her own persecution under the Nazis.

Simply put, he is a true Rebel.

Much has been written about the 'Humanity of the Rebel' throughout history. Essentially, it is one who selflessly challenges Injustice, regardless.

What makes him a Radical however, is not his message, but rather that he does little to self-preserve. So tenaciously committed, is he, to the message, that he has forsaken better judgment when it comes to his own personal needs.

Unlike his mentor Chomsky who bucks the establishment from within, he does so from without, and hence, has found himself more ostracized, besieged, and assaulted. This has sadly brought him much personal sacrifice and pain, to say the least.

Otherwise as a Rebel, he clearly has no interest in personal empowerment, as evidenced by his plight. He continually and steadfastly reiterates the Truthful Facts as they stand, allowing them to speak for themselves.

He is such an extremely well-informed scholar that it has been virtually impossible for anyone to take him on based on the facts, whether in writing or in debate. He consistently attempts to remain intellectually focused and composed, not allowing anyone to derail him, nor deflect and escape his steel-trap mind.

To his credit, he has been unwavering in his onslaught against Injustice, in spite of the many risks, hardships and obstacles before him.

One can only hope, that in time, he will become more enlightened with regard to the need to effect change from within, however, even if so, it is likely too late, as he has found himself indeed a self-made pariah. Otherwise, he should continue in his noble pursuit of challenging Injustice, and hopefully without any additional peril to himself.

Unfortunately, for this Rebel, as with others in history, their goal is never fully accomplished, for Injustice will forever be part of the Human Experience.

As with all genuine rebels, he will be hailed and remembered long after he has gone.

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