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)
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
    It's a far more effective leftist argument than the bombastic "Fahrenheit 9/11."
  3. Reviewed by: Eddie Cockrell
    As engaging and stimulating as the man himself.
  4. Reviewed by: Kevin Crust
    The film is especially strong in its second half, which is dominated by contemporary footage of Zinn.
  5. Smoothly incorporates archival material, including scenes of Mr. Zinn's public appearances, interviews with Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, Daniel Berrigan and Alice Walker (his student at Spelman). Matt Damon also reads well-chosen excerpts from Mr. Zinn's writing.
  6. This video profile by Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller allows his significance to register and his charisma to shine despite a pedestrian approach that's especially awkward in its use of archival footage.

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 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! Collapse

See all 5 User Reviews