The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg Poster

Release Date: 1993

DVD Release Date: July 17th, 2007

Not Yet Rated|1 hr 22 min

Plot Summary
This documentary chronicles the life of American beat poet Allen Ginsberg. Born and raised in New Jersey, Ginsberg attends Columbia University alongside fellow beats Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs. Ginsberg rises to to the forefront of the American counterculture following the success of his iconic poem "Howl" in 1955, after which he becomes heavily involved in spiritualism and activism. A 1997 recut of the film includes Ginsberg's death that April at the age of 70.

Cast: Joan Baez, William F. Buckley, William Lee, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Ken Kesey, Timothy Leary

Director: Jerry Aronson

Genres: Documentary

Keywords: Offbeat, 1990s, Quest, 1950s, New York City, 1960s, Rise, Engaging

Ratings & Reviews

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  • His readings of his own work are especially thoughtful, moving, and provocative in the best possible ways. show more

  • A meticulously-researched chunk of underground Americana that traces the poet's full life from his rather dysfunctional childhood (beneath the hoary shadow of his mentally ill mother) to his meetings and eventual friendships with Kerouac, Burroughs, Neal Cassady and other Beat luminaries. (Review of Original Release) show more

  • A refreshingly straightforward, conventional approach to the documentary form. (Review of Original Release) show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com