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An Unreasonable Man
An Unreasonable Man
Actors: Ralph Nader, Pat Buchanan, Howard Zinn, Phil Donahue, Andrew Egendorf
Directors: Henriette Mantel, Steve Skrovan
Genres: Documentary
NR     2007     2hr 2min

In 1966, General Motors, the most powerful corporation in the world, sent private investigators to dig up dirt on an obscure thirty-two year old public interest lawyer named Ralph Nader, who had written a book critical of ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Ralph Nader, Pat Buchanan, Howard Zinn, Phil Donahue, Andrew Egendorf
Directors: Henriette Mantel, Steve Skrovan
Creators: Mark Raker, Matt Davis, Henriette Mantel, Steve Skrovan, Alexis Provost, Beth Gallagher, Kevin O'Donnell
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Biography, Politics
Studio: Ifc
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 06/12/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 2hr 2min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A Fair Portrait of a Controversial Activist
Hard2Please | Glendale, CA USA | 02/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

""An Unreasonable Man" is not a pejorative description in the context of this film. One is reminded that the qualities that make an activist effective, are the same qualities of persistence and refusal to compromise that make such a person infuriating in other circumstances.

Although the first half of the documentary is devoted to Nader's rise as the country's premiere consumer advocate, the crux of the film is Nader's controversial presidential candidacy in 2000 and the personal, public and political ramifications of his decision to continue the race knowing that he may cost liberals a victory of the (arguably) more palatable candidate.

Unlike the reviewer below, I did not see in the film any agenda to trash Nader for running for president. When the movie moves its focus to Nader's effect on the 2000 election and whether he should have run under the circumstances, both sides of the argument get a fair airing. In fact, if anything, I felt the movie makers were inclined to the pro-Nader perspective--that for the politics of corruption to stop, a principled stand must be taken.

Regardless of the side of the debate one might take, the filmmakers did a an admirable job of showing through historical perspective why Nader ran, and why he was unapologetic about staying in the race. His personal history, from his experience with the Carter administration, the debate debacle, and his basic uncompromising personality and dogged pursuit of his goals, illuminate the motivations behind the 2000 Nader candidacy.

Although the filmmakers obviously hold Nader in high esteem, particularly for his crusades on behalf of consumers, this is a documentary in the true sense of the word--it is not a propaganda film, it it does not beat you over the head with the filmmakers' views. While, it is sympathetic to Nader's political positions and would not be considered "balanced" by a hardcore Republican, this is not a Michael Moore type of opus to any particular position. It is an expository film that raises but does not resolve the issue that alienated so many former Nader supporters."
CoolerHeads | CA USA | 06/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Having lived through the outrages of the Bush years, one wonders how history will judge these times. And this excellent documentary amounts to a meditation on this subject played out in terms of Nader's own legacy. The documentary starts as an homage to Nader's selfless public advocacy and then rolls up its sleeves and mucks through the question of "Ralph the spoiler." And even though we're often just seeing talking heads, there's something almost operatic about the drama. To see some of Ralph's original Rader's struggling with a deep sense of betrayal, to see the ire of his critics -- it's very compelling. The documentary tries to be even-handed, but ultimately amounts to an apologia. Nonetheless, one is left to make up one's own mind."
A Great Documentary
Strangeways | Chicago | 04/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is an amazing film about an amazing man. Contrary to what the first reviewer below claims the film does an excellent job of presenting a case in favor of Nader. Both sides are given time and once the facts are out one can really only come to one conclusion. All Nader detractors are given air time and certainly don't hold back. The film does a great job of covering a man's entire life in 2 hours. I look forward to the extras on this disc."
Nader is Still a Raider!
Jurgen Vsych | California, USA | 11/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Magnificent documentary about the legendary consumer advocate. A must for your people, who won't know about Ralph Nader if all they've been exposed to is corporate-controlled news and corporate school textbooks. Great extras on Disc 2 explore America's crazy electoral process and how the most qualified candidate in US history - in fact, Nader was overqualified! - was scapegoated by the Democrats and labeled a "spoiler." Are the Democrat and Republican parties the true spoilers, happily handing over the public's interests over to corrupt corporations? Is it a surprise that they try to marginalize America's top corporate crime buster?"