Screened as part of NZIFF 2004

Bukowski: Born Into This 2003

Directed by John Dullaghan

USA In English
92 minutes Beta-SP / Colour and B&W



Matt Mindlin
Bill Langley


Victor Livingstone


Jennifer Boyd


Charles Bukowski
Sean Penn
Harry Dean Stanton
Taylor Hackford
Barbet Schroeder


Sundance, London 2003; Sydney 2004


“A definitive screen overview of the late LA booze bard, Bukowski: Born Into This makes a compelling case for raising him from cult status to the top rank of 20th century US literary figures… First-time director John Dullaghan… demonstrates an impressive mix of affection and critical distance that – combined with [the] subject’s ornery charisma, revealed in myriad archival clips – makes Born Into This a particularly entertaining screen biography… He’s been accused of misogyny and misanthropy, considered a temperamental crank, yet there are glimpses here of a secret softie. One major plus is [the] fact that his oft-at-once coarse, witty and tender writing works terrifically well in spoken excerpt – making Born Into This a more persuasive homage than many films profiling better-known but less instantly accessible literary voices. Dullaghan and editor Livingstone have done an excellent job turning Bukowski’s many contradictions, myriad interview sources and a wealth of archival material into a coherent, engrossing narrative.” — Dennis Harvey, Variety