Paul Goodman was once so ubiquitous in the American zeitgeist that he merited
a “cameo” in Woody Allenʼs Annie Hall. Author of legendary bestseller Growing
Up Absurd (1960), Goodman was also a poet, 1940s out queer (and family man),
pacifist, visionary, co-founder of Gestalt therapyundefinedand a moral compass for many
in the burgeoning counterculture of the ʼ60s. Paul Goodman Changed My Lifeimmerses you in an era of high intellect (that heady, cocktail-glass juncture that Mad Men has so effectively exploited) when New York was peaking culturally and artistically; when ideas, and the people who propounded them, seemed to punch in at a higher weight class than they do now.
Using a treasure trove of archival multimediaundefinedselections from Goodmanʼs poetry (read by Garrison Keillor and Edmund White); quotes from Susan Sontag, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Noam Chomsky; plentiful footage of Goodman himself; plus interviews with his family, peers and activistsundefineddirector/producer Jonathan Lee and producer/editor Kimberly Reed (Prodigal Sons) have woven together a rich portrait of an intellectual heavyweight whose ideas are long overdue for rediscovery.
Post-film panel discussion with Elliot Ratzman, Michael Walzer, and filmmaker Jonathan Lee
Elliot Ratzman is visiting assistant professor at Temple University, where he teaches courses in secular Jewish thought, culture and politics. He is a longtime subscriber to the journal Dissent.
Michael Walzer is professor (emeritus) of social science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ. He is the author of twenty-seven books and more than three hundred articles on political theory and moral philosophy, and he has served as coeditor of the journal Dissent for some fifty years. He lives in Princeton.
Jonathan Lee was the founder/director of the Maine Speakout Project, a statewide organization that trained and deployed volunteer speakers to share their personal experiences as sexual minority Mainers with mainstream groups throughout the state. In 2003, Lee bagan working on Paul Goodman Changed My Life, his directorial debut