A Disjointed and Disappointing 'Highlight' Reel

A documentarist, like any filmmaker, must convey a compelling story. With "Noam Chomsky: Rebel Without a Pause," Will Pascoe fails utterly in this effort, cobbling together uninspired snippets of Chomsky's wisdom from a visit to McMaster University in Hamilton. The footage is shot amateurishly and in video. Pascoe's only effort at cohering the fragments into a whole is by periodically throwing a vague title on the screen: "9-11", "Activism", "Truth". Lame.

Compare this with documentaries like "The Corporation" or "The Fog of War" which create a narrative drawing material from interviews, stock footage, and filmed footage. In the end each delivers a poignant and insightful message deftly and intelligently.

The only saving graces of the film are Chomsky's nonchalantly delivered upendings of historical dogma, and the fact that the running time is only 74 minutes.

One of the more interesting passages was Chomsky's recounting of his experience with National Public Radio. He describes the conservative media as more accommodating to differing views, while NPR's liberal dogma strait-jackets its interviewees and dramatically limits its permitted messages. Yet another media outlet to be skeptical of.

This documentary is for Noam Chomsky completists only.