I.F. Stone’s Weekly (1973)

“People read, but they miss most of what they see. Izzy misses nothing.”

Synopsis:
Blacklisted journalist I.F. Stone discusses the weekly political newspaper he founded in 1953, which eventually reached a circulation of 70,000.

Genres:

Review:
Peary’s recommendation of this hard-to-find documentary about investigative journalist Isidor Feinstein Stone — who published his own muckraking weekly after being blacklisted by major newspapers for his “radical” views during an era of anti-communist hysteria — clearly reflects his personal interest in championing films about social justice and liberal individuals fighting against The Machine. In an era of increasingly widespread, You-Tubed documentaries about nearly every subject and individual under the sun, it’s easy to take an hour-long film like this for granted — but one shouldn’t, as it remains invaluable documentation of an intriguing figure in the history of journalism. However, it’s not innovative enough as a film that I would recommend it as something all film fanatics need to seek out. With that said, it would make an interesting double-bill with All the President’s Men (1976), given the presence of a young Carl Bernstein as a talking head at one point.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • An invaluable glimpse at the life and times of a little-known iconoclastic journalist crusader

Must See?
No; this one is only must-see for those interested in the subject matter. If you’re curious to locate it, try checking your local university library for a copy.

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One Response to “I.F. Stone’s Weekly (1973)”

  1. Not a must – but not for the same reason.

    First viewing.

    I find this to be quite a fascinating document. I’m less concerned with its status as “innovative” filmmaking. What keeps me from thinking of it as ‘must-see’ is its length. To cover a figure as intriguing as Stone, more time should have been taken – at least another half-hour – to get under his skin.

    At just an hour, the viewer is a bit teased and left hungry. He was certainly a worthy-enough subject for the viewer to spend more time getting to know. I enjoyed experiencing his love of and hunger for the truth, as well as his drive and his cool demeanor.

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