Feature

An Unreasonable Man

Ralph Nader was a liberal hero before he spoiled Gore’s election in 2000.

This documentary portrait of Ralph Nader should come with a warning, said Andrew O'Hehir in Salon.com. An Unreasonable Man may 'œinduce dizziness, sweating, and hot-and-cold flashes' among those who still haven't recovered from the last two presidential elections. For many of us, the prospect of enduring an admiring profile of a man who handed George W. Bush the presidency is positively painful, but this doc never pulls its punches. Its first hour reminds us of the Nader who made our cars safer, our environment cleaner, and our democracy freer. The second hour examines how Nader's stubborn attitude may have influenced the 2000 vote. Lefties will never forgive and forget, said David Edelstein in New York. But we can fill out the picture a little bit. Co-director Henriette Mantel, one of the original, corruption-busting 'œNader's Raiders' from the '80s, argues that Nader's legacy shouldn't be all about 2000 and 2004. After watching, 'œI'm still furious at him, but no one alive deserves less to be a pariah.' But this movie, like Nader, always seems to be fighting the last battle, said A.O. Scott in The New York Times. At the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, it was shown alongside a better documentary, Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. 'œThat movie, now contending for an Academy Award, is almost entirely about the challenges of the future. This one, for all its invocations of the progressive spirit, concerns itself mainly with battles of the past.'

Rating: Not Rated

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