This timely documentary celebrates the life of an underground journalist who died in 1989 but left a rich legacy. Rating: 3 stars out of 4.
I.F. Stone, an underground journalist who died in1989, left a rich legacy that is celebrated in a timely new documentary, “All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception and the Spirit of I.F. Stone.”
Stone did not have access to many organized press events, and he liked it that way.
“The establishment reporters, without a doubt, know a lot of things I don’t know,” he said in 1974. “But a lot of what they know isn’t true.’’
Movie Review ★★★
‘All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception and the Spirit of I.F. Stone’ a documentary directed by Fred Peabody. 91 minutes. Not rated; suitable for general audiences. Grand Illusion, through Thursday.
Reliance on independent sources led him to doubt the Gulf of Tonkin incident that drew the U.S. more directly into the Vietnam War. He gained his outsider’s viewpoint during the dark days of blacklists and anti-communist hysteria, when he was virtually unemployable.
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His fans later won Oscars for their work on such films as “All the President’s Men,” “The Fog of War,” “Bowling for Columbine” and “Citizenfour.” Michael Moore and Carl Bernstein provide especially lively commentary for the documentary, and the younger generation, including Jeremy Scahill and Matt Taibbi, is well-represented.
Stone’s own prescience was not always a source of great satisfaction for him.
“I tell you,” he once said, “I really have so much fun, I ought to be arrested. It becomes like, you’re like a journalistic Nero fiddling while Rome burns … and you forget — that it’s really burning.”