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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 ... Self
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
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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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Did You Know?


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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User Reviews

Thoughtful But One-Sided, American Radical Still Provides Good Mental Floss
22 June 2015 | by drqshadow-reviewsSee all my reviews

A quick bio of Finkelstein, an outspoken Jew with bones to pick in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and an overview of the troubles spawned by his controversial stances. He's a rare voice in the sense that his opinions place him at-odds with his religious homeland, decrying the lack of a Palestinian state and brow-beating the Israeli government for their part in allegedly whitewashing the conflict. It should come as no surprise that such a vocal, incendiary stance has made him all manner of powerful enemies, and his sharp, confrontational personal nature does him no further favors in that respect. Finkelstein at his best is intriguing, an engaging speaker with a fiery streak and the credentials, both personal and scholastic, to back him up against any opponent. Sadly, he also seems doomed to a fate of self-contradiction. He often employs the very same methods in his own tricky public speaking engagements that he vehemently decries in the opposition, even if this documentary does try its very best to clip and trim around such moments. It's just one side of a very complicated debate, and while he does make some convincing points that refute the official story from the United States and Israel, it can be difficult to accept his story and make a judgment without an equally eloquent counterpoint in play.

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Release Date:

11 February 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Американский радикал See more »

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