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.