Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Summary: This film documents the life and times of Howard Zinn, the historian, activist and author of the best selling classic A People's History of the United States. (First Run Features)

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. A thinker and an educator, Zinn has led a life of commitment and compassion, and the film offers a loving tribute.
  2. 75
    The ideas are generous and inclusive rather than divisive: Zinn wants history to be seen and to be experienced from every possible perspective.
  3. 70
    The film is especially strong in its second half, which is dominated by contemporary footage of Zinn.
  4. 70
    It's an excellent introduction to a man whose thoughts on war, peace and dissent have become increasingly influential in ever more confusing times.
  5. 70
    This illuminating, often rousing film fits snugly alongside the various anti-Bush/corporate/globalization documentaries that continue to pack the art houses.
  6. This documentary about Howard Zinn provides an effective if not necessarily comprehensive or objective portrait of the esteemed historian and activist.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. ShannonP.
    Feb 27, 2007
    Whatever Zinn's contribution may (or may not) be, this film is like Tiger Beat for the PBS crowd. It isn't much more than an Whatever Zinn's contribution may (or may not) be, this film is like Tiger Beat for the PBS crowd. It isn't much more than an oppotunity for collective gushing about a man whose ideas are presented in only the most cursory and superfical way. For that matter, Zinn can hardly lay claim to the ideas that war is bad, that traditional "history" is often one-sided and misleading, and that the government cannot be trusted--although amazingly the film suggests otherwise. What are his original ideas? If they exist, you won't find them here. Nor does this "documentary" present a trace of serious criticism about Zinn's life or work. Ultimatley, it is trite propaganda about a man who purports to be fighting, among other things, exactly that! Expand

See all 5 User Reviews