Wednesday, July 11, 2012


DR. BRONNER'S MAGIC SOAPBOX, like CRUMB, is one of those rare documentaries that would never be believable as a fiction film, but it is indeed a true story that happens to be very unpredictable. The film is a few years old but I finally got around to seeing it on Netflix.

You have probably used his soap, which comes in the recognizable container with bright labels and with a superfluous amount of tiny writing, as though etched by a paranoid schizophrenic. I never bothered to read the notes, and was quite surprised to find out that it discusses a crazy religion that "Dr." Bronner created. (Although a chemist, he never got a degree.)

This is a movie that is better to watch knowing very little than knowing more, as the surprises are half the interest. Suffice it to say that he is an incredibly complex character who is very interesting. Half of what he says is brilliant, the other half is crazy, but even the crazy stuff makes you think.

The film is not perfect; there are editorial problems that are both pacing and structural, but overall it is a good film.

Watch it if you get the chance.

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