Directed by Chris Mortensen
Run Time: 87 mins
4.5 frames out of 5
Ayn Rand was a woman ahead of her time. Some may call her a prophet, some a fear monger, but this is a woman who experienced the rise of communism and saw the writing on the wall.
In this documentary, the filmmakers takes the viewer on a biographical journey of Ayn Rand and her quest bringing Atlas Shrugged to the world. She wrote the book to prevent the premise of the novel coming true. Fast forward 50+ years and we are in way over our heads in several of the plot lines from Atlas Shrugged. How did she know?
Growing up in Russia at the turn of the century, Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum (later changed her name to Ayn Rand) experienced the rise of communism. Her middle class family lost their business and lifestyle when the Bolshevik soldiers took over.
In 1926, Rosenbaum moved to the United States, and in an effort to protect her family, changed her name to Ayn Rand. If anyone knows their history, this is right before the Great Depression started. The regulations and government involvement following the start of the Depression raised some red flags for Rand, as this had an all too familiar feeling of what happened in her homeland.
Interwoven with interviews with Rand herself, the film is a compelling argument for what is happening today. The rest of the film includes interviews with various Rand friends, experts and associates.
Interviews include :
• John Allison, former CEO of BB&T
• Al Ruddy, Academy Award Winning producer of The Godfather and Million Dollar Baby
• Harry Binswanger, philosopher and friend of Ayn Rand
• Michael Berliner, author of The Letters of Ayn Rand
• Michael Walsh, writer for the National Review
• Jennifer Burns, author of Goddess of the Market – Ayn Rand & the American Right
• Anne C. Heller, author of Ayn Rand and the World She Made
• John Kilts, former CEO of the Gillette Company
• Ed Snider, owner of the Philadelphia Fliers
• Yaron Brook, director of the Ayn Rand Institute.
The director does a superb job of just presenting out the facts in a neutral tone about Rand, Atlas Shrugged and the controversial subjects that seem to send certain groups into a tizzy.
If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie that was released earlier this year, I challenge you to check it out. It is true, when one interviewee said during the film, it’s like you read the book and then see today’s headlines and it’s like the media ripped the news from a chapter of Atlas Shrugged. What was great about this documentary is that even if you are not familiar with politics or an aficionado with the economic, social or political terms, the filmmakers break it down and make it easy to understand. You may hear in the news terms such as crony capitalism, totalitarianism, collectivism or socialism where the reporter glosses over the meaning. The filmmakers explain the basics which in this day and age, where information is flying fast and furious, is very helpful.
Ayn Rand was and still is a controversial figure. Her ideas presented in Atlas Shrugged on her philosophy, Objectivism sparks many a debate (and temper on both sides of the isle). If you have a drop of common sense in your body, there’s no denying that the events written in Atlas Shrugged mirror that of today’s headlines. For those more aware, this is another reminder to head the warning foretold in the novel. If not, for those who still balk and sneer at the mention of Ayn Rand or Atlas Shrugged, will our fate be better or worse for us than that in the book?
All I wonder is… where is our John Galt?
Things to watch for: Vocabulary terms broken down to the simplest factor & great interviews by some surprising figures. Great behind the scenes info on the process of writing Atlas Shrugged.
Who should see this movie: Everyone.
See it in the Theater or Buy it on DVD: If it’s playing in a town near you, this is a must see. If not, buy the DVD and watch with friends & loved ones.