An Unreasonable Man

An Unreasonable Man

Infobox Film
name = An Unreasonable Man

image_size = 200px
caption = Promotional movie poster for the film
director = Henriette Mantel
Steve Skrovan
producer = Kevin O'Donnell
writer =
narrator =
starring = Ralph Nader
Pat Buchanan
Phil Donahue
William Greider
Eric Alterman
James Ridgeway
music =
cinematography = Mark Raker
editing = Beth Gallagher
Alexis Provost
distributor = IFC Films
released = flagicon|US January 24, 2006 (Sundance Film Festival)
January 31, 2007 (limited)
runtime = 122 min.
country = U.S.A.
language = English
budget =
website =
amg_id = 1:339975
imdb_id = 0492499

"An Unreasonable Man" is a 2007 documentary film that traces the life and career of political activist Ralph Nader, the founder of modern consumer protection. The film examines Nader's advocacy for auto safety features, such as federally mandated seat belts and air bags, as well as his rise to national prominence following an invasion of privacy lawsuit against General Motors. It also examines the formation of independent advocacy groups (termed "Nader's Raiders") during the 1970s; organizations which carried out independent research on various federal agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration. Over the next thirty years, the film argues, Nader "built a legislative record that would be the envy of any modern president."

The second half of the film traces Nader's shift to a grassroots form of organizing focused on citizen power, including his eventual disillusionment with the two-party system following the rise of Reaganism. In assessing Nader's effect as a third party candidate, the film examines censorship in the presidential debates as well as Nader's disputed role as a "spoiler" in the 2000 presidential election.

The film makes use of interviews with current and former members of Nader's Raiders, including Joan Claybrook and Robert Fellmeth, as well as politicians and political analysts such as Phil Donahue, Pat Buchanan, and Eric Alterman. It takes its name from the George Bernard Shaw quote, "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."


The documentary has an aggregate of 92% (54/59) on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 75% on Metacritic. [Rotten Tomatoes page on An Unreasonable Man [] ] [Metacritic page on An Unreasonable Man [] ]

Festival screenings

* [ Meaford International Film Festival 2007]


External links

* [ An Unreasonable Man Official Movie Website]
* [ AN UNREASONABLE MAN] site for Independent Lens on PBS
*imdb title|0492499
*rotten-tomatoes|id=an_unreasonable_man|title=An Unreasonable Man
* [ An Unreasonable Man Trailer (YouTube)]

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