Bukowski Born into This

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For publisher John Martin, who put his money on a horse called Risk when he funded Bukowski to write full-time, the constantly contradictory street-scribe was the 'Walt Whitman of our age'. This comprehensive documentary deploys talking heads to scan decades of drinking, womanising and the penning of those notorious, explicit, angry but always honest 'outsider' stories, essays and verse. Bukowski might have reached the screen before (in Barfly, Crazy Love, Tales of Ordinary Madness and the coming Factotum), but not unmediated as here. Generous with revealing archive footage of the man, the film is more than essential for fans. For others, it's a study of the cost and call of writing as good as any around.

Release details

Duration: 121 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Dullaghan
Screenwriter: Victor Livingston
Cast: Taylor Hackford
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Linda Lee Bukowski
Neeli Cherkovski
Joyce Fante
John Martin
Dom Muto
William Packard
Marina Bukowski
Steve Richmond
Pam 'Cupcakes' Miller
Beverly Knox
Tom Waits
Barbet Schroeder
Liza Williams
Sean Penn
Harry Dean Stanton
Charles Bukowski
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