Doc Blog

A Writer's Words

Dalton Trumbo is now well-known for several award-winning screenplays. In Trumbo, director Peter Askin (pictured here) took on the challenge of making a documentary about this famous, once blacklisted writer.

The film, however, is not about being blacklisted per se.  It is about the life, the work and the family man behind this infamous name.  Askin combines footage from family videos, clips from movies in which Trumbo worked and clips of many actors portraying Trumbo's letters.  The effect is a complex yet intimate portrayal of Trumbo's story.

During the Q&A session, Askin asked Donald Sutherland and Trumbo's children, Chris and Mitzy, to join him.  Sutherland had known Trumbo for a number of years.  Chris Trumbo is an accomplished writer; he has written a lot about his father.  When discussing his choice of actors to read Trumbo's letters, Askin stated that some actors approached him.  The letters were the basis of the play Trumbo; some of these actors had been in the play.

As a father, Chris said that all children had a childhood that "was as normal as can be."  They never felt their parents were concealing information from them.  They are in support of this film and are content with the outcome. 

This film MUST be seen by a mass audience! It is utterly 'today' and not just based on what happened 50 odd years ago.The format.was very interesting with different actors, not even resembling Trumbo, reading from his writings, thereby bringing freshness to each segment.

I recommend, as a companion piece, the autobiography of Howard Fast, another feisty progressive who wrote the book Spartacus on the basis of which Trumbo wrote the movie script.

Let there be many more Trumbos for our era!

Marjaleena Repo
Comment By [email protected] At 13/09/2021 9:54 PM
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