Director: Robert B. Weide, Don Argott

127 mins, USA, 2021, Digital

The first feature documentary on Kurt Vonnegut is an immersive dive into the American author’s upbringing, and creative output, a worthy tribute for his many fans and a compelling introduction for the uninitiated. The film spans his childhood in Indianapolis, his experience as a prisoner of war in World War II, his marriage, family, and divorce, his early careers as a publicist for General Electric and a car salesman, and the long years as a struggling writer, leading to eventual superstardom in 1969 following the publication of his lightning-bolt anti-war novel, Slaughterhouse-Five. The film began 39 years ago when fledgling filmmaker Robert B. Weide wrote a letter to his literary idol proposing a documentary on Vonnegut’s life and work. Shooting began in 1988, and the resulting film reflects the friendship Weide and Vonnegut formed over the years.

Notes by David O’Mahony

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