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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Purest portrayal of Ayn Rand and her philosophy
I just finished looking at "Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life" and I must say I am so happy to have found this DVD. It is an insightful portrayal of Ayn. The interviews with Ayn and her discussing her philosophy of objectivism, are priceless. What a wonderful way to learn about her. Also the story has so many scenes of old New York that are so exciting. All I can say...
Published on Nov. 3 2003 by Diane Offutt

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Rand's belief that America should win out over Russia
The three stars that I gave this DVD, a gift from a special friend, an ardent student of Miss Rand and Objectivism, does not mean that I did not enjoy this documentary tremendously. I am not the most ardent fan of Miss Rand although I greatly admire the one book of hers that I read, "The Fountainhead," for its astounding literary merits. I have started reading...
Published on April 1 2001 by Kawaiineko


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5.0 out of 5 stars Exalted and uplifting portrait of a heroine, Aug. 2 1999
By A Customer
The director, Michael Paxton, has succeeded beautifully in conveying a portrait of a true heroine, writer/thinker/philosopher Ayn Rand, who was the arch-champion and defender of reason, rational egoism, individualism, capitalism--that is, man's right to exist. This film is not about her philosophy, though there are several excerpts alluding to it, but more about her life, or a bio-documentary, as it were. It is about her views of life from an early age to the day she died and how she formed her own soul. Hence the documentary's title, "Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life." It is truly uplifting and inspiring, especially in a world dominated by irrationality, mysticism, and collectivism. But remember, Ayn Rand is also here and an alternative exists. Her philosophy exists and with the existence of this film, she lives forever on celluloid. Watch it for yourselves and see what I mean. As for the reviewer from Canada, from July 26, 1999, I can't help but wonder why he gave the film only one star. The review complains only about the price of the video, but doesn't give any reasons for either liking or disliking it. Is this what reviews should be based on--price? Or the material presented in the film? I hope all who see this film will enjoy it, and if they do, will turn to Ayn Rand's writings. For fuel, read Ayn Rand. And remember, if you want her views in her own words, or anyone else's for that matter, read her work firsthand, not second or third-hand because this does not and cannot work, and fails for obvious reasons. Those who smear her or misrepresent her views(lying) are only doing themselves a disservice and those who credit them deserve them. Use your mind to conclude what you think of her views. Be an independent thinker, not a leech off of the minds of others. If you do this last you will discover that you will be learning and integrating ideas into your mind, not parroting them, as so many people do. Doing the first is knowledge; doing the second is second-hand and will just not do. It is one thing to read and integrate what a writer has written; it is a totally different thing to read, study, think and integrate what a writer has written, and then deciding whether you agree or not. I hope this film will inspire many to enter the full, sunlit universe of Ayn Rand's ideas, and further, to apply them to their own lives and achieve happiness. This film will help put you on the right track to achieving this. Good luck to you all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Biography of an Immigrant and Heroine, May 23 1999
By A Customer
Ayn Rand is a very controversial figure, although her legacy was honored by her image on an American First Class Postage stamp. This video goes behind the heroic fiction she authored lacking a deep presentation of her philosophy of selfishness, what she later called, "Objectivism." It follows her life from modest beginnings in Russia, to how she met her husband, and all through the milestones and battles she encountered. Many have seen Miss Rand's work as trucculent or unrealistic, while others have completely changed their thinking entirely. The interviews and film footage humanize the woman that previously only existed to others as a leader of a philosophical/morality movement. What kind of music did she like, and why? What made her write with such passion and profoundly clarity? Why did she answer questions posed to her by first explaining the fallacy of reasoning that led to assumptions to ask the question? Miss Rand is truly a heroic woman with much to say on the subject. The video demonstrates that she may have been headstrong, but she never violated her principles of living for her self. The subtitle, "A Sense of Life" is a concept that Ayn Rand uses to describe a person's metaphysical view of man's role in the universe. In simpler terms, it is how man sees others around him and how he reacts to events that occur to him. His sense of life makes him cynical or trusting, brooding or joyous. "A Sense Of Life" depicts a gay (in the classic sense, joyous and optimistic) and serious student of philosophy, passionately devoted to articulating the right answers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars To the Gentleman who said, Ayn is a Karl Marx for the right-, May 19 1999
By A Customer
Wonderful film....a must see for objectivists, as well as those who are curious about Ayn Rand and her philosophy.
I'd also like to comment to the gentleman who previously viewed this film and gave it the rating of one star- who said "Ayn Rand is a Karl Marx for the right"----If Ayn Rand were for a particular political group...would it not be a group who wants to limit the controls of government (such as the "right") as opposed to the "left?" Could you see any communists or "liberals" embracing Ayn Rand? (Even though most people from the right side of the street don't accept her views, I'm inclined to believe that no liberal does at all...Oh...and I have a recommendation for you that you might enjoy- it's in William F. Buckley's The Jeweler's Eye- and he reviewed Atlas Shrugged. (He, like you, compares Ayn Rand to Karl Marx, which I don't see other than the fact that they are both material based philosophies. If you wish to respond, you may contact me at ClaudiaGOP@aol.com. I'd be curious to know about your experiences with Nathaniel Branden (I am currently reading My Years With Ayn Rand)- and the reasons behind your hostile feelings towards objectivism.
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1.0 out of 5 stars For Young Minds Filled With Mush, April 26 1999
By A Customer
A film that young minds filled with mush will enjoy. Who are these young minds filled with mush? They are young people between the ages of 14 and 21, generally from a religious household (Christian, Jewish, Catholic, Hindu), who discover Ayn Rand and embrace her ideas as the answer to life. Worst of all, they mimic and blindly parrot all of her excesses. Objectivists remind me of college kids in the 70s and 80s who would read Karl Marx and become these annoying, reactionary left wing nuts. Ayn Rand is a Karl Marx for the right, giving rise to a kind of unthinking intellectualism frequently seen in cults.
Typically, this documentary is uncritical of Rand and her hyprocrisies -- how she championed individualism but demanded conformity. Thankfully, young people who embrace Ayn Rand soon abandon her like their Marxist counterparts did so many years ago. But in the meantime, they can be the most annoying little critters known to man.
Read and enjoy Ayn Rand for her pop message of individualism, but don't be as naive to be caught up in the objectivist clap-trap. I know, because I was once a part of the Nathaniel Branden Institute, a group which the documentary quickly skips over.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent documentary!, Oct. 4 1999
By A Customer
I liked this documentary very much. It should have won the Academy Award last year! Those who have not seen it can rent it at their local video store as I have (I plan to buy it when it is priced cheaper!)
Despite her personal flaws, Ayn Rand was a philosopher who taught young people in the midst of developing their identity that happiness is the purpose to life! A life lesson we often forget! Although her novels were preachy at times, they moved and motivated me.
Okay, I agree that some of her devoted fans (young objectivists) can be annoying: the worst among them parrot her catch phrases ("check your premises," "a is a," etc.; prefer Rachmaninoff over Bach; and denounce Kant without ever have read him - but that's just a youthful phase we all have gone through! Give them a break!
But young objectivisits are not the story here - Ayn Rand is. And she was wonderful!
Long live the power of Ayn Rand's ideas!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent achievement!, Jan. 9 2004
By 
R. Eriks Goodwin (Bon Air, Virginia, U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Although seeing AR:ASOL on the big screen at a pre-release conference in Chicago was better, this DVD is awesome. The story of Rand is enticing, even to those who do not like her. The story was extremely well-written and the selection and handling of material was well done. I was pleasantly surprised to see the variety of materials which had been assembled for this Academy Award nominated documentary.
After meeting the director, Michael Paxton, in person, I can see why he achieved such a great film. He is as amazing a person as the film itself is on the screen.
Sitting to watch this film over and over with friends and family is an excellent use of one's time-- and time which will be enjoyed. I highly recommend this DVD to be part of any serious movie collection.
I have the framed, preserved, autographed movie poster for this DVD hanging in my office behind my desk as the focal point of the room-- that's how much I love this film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Exceptional View of Ayn's Life, Oct. 14 2002
Watching this exhaustive documentary (2:23) was a real eye opener for me. While I am conversant with her works, I was quite ignorant of the details of her life. The documentary follows Ayn from her oppressed Russian beginnings to (believe it or not) the pasteboard sets of 30s Hollywood to the intellectual circles of New York. The contrast are amazing and one can't but conclude that Any Rand lived a very fortunate life.
The commentaries are not very insightful - but only due to the exceptionally detailed information narrated by Sharon Gless. Strangely enough, one of the more dramatic events of her career; her affair with Nathaniel Branden, is glossed of in less than 15 seconds. So I recommend seeing "The Passion of Ayn Rand" for more on that story. A word to the wise: if you buy both this DVD and "The Passion of Ayn Rand", I suggest watching this one first. It will give you a more complete understanding of her background.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Exceptional View of Ayn's Life, Oct. 14 2002
Watching this exhaustive documentary (2:23) was a real eye opener for me. While I am conversant with her works, I was quite ignorant of the details of her life. The documentary follows Ayn from her oppressed Russian beginnings to (believe it or not) the pasteboard sets of 30s Hollywood to the intellectual circles of New York. The contrast are amazing and one can't but conclude that Any Rand lived a very fortunate life.
The commentaries are not very insightful - but only due to the exceptionally detailed information narrated by Sharon Gless. Strangely enough, one of the more dramatic events of her career; her affair with Nathaniel Branden, is glossed of in less than 15 seconds. So I recommend seeing "The Passion of Ayn Rand" for more on that story. A word to the wise: if you buy both this DVD and "The Passion of Ayn Rand", I suggest watching this one first. It will give you a more complete understanding of her background.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Exceptional View of Ayn's Life, Oct. 14 2002
Watching this exhaustive documentary (2:23) was a real eye opener for me. While I am conversant with her works, I was quite ignorant of the details of her life. The documentary follows Ayn from her oppressed Russian beginnings to (believe it or not) the pasteboard sets of 30s Hollywood to the intellectual circles of New York. The contrast are amazing and one can't but conclude that Any Rand lived a very fortunate life.
The commentaries are not very insightful - but only due to the exceptionally detailed information narrated by Sharon Gless. Strangely enough, one of the more dramatic events of her career; her affair with Nathaniel Branden, is glossed of in less than 15 seconds. So I recommend seeing "The Passion of Ayn Rand" for more on that story. A word to the wise: if you buy both this DVD and "The Passion of Ayn Rand", I suggest watching this one first. It will give you a more complete understanding of her background.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Exceptional View of Ayn's Life, Oct. 14 2002
Watching this exhaustive documentary (2:23) was a real eye opener for me. While I am conversant with her works, I was quite ignorant of the details of her life. The documentary follows Ayn from her oppressed Russian beginnings to (believe it or not) the pasteboard sets of 30s Hollywood to the intellectual circles of New York. The contrast are amazing and one can't but conclude that Any Rand lived a very fortunate life.
The commentaries are not very insightful - but only due to the exceptionally detailed information narrated by Sharon Gless. Strangely enough, one of the more dramatic events of her career; her affair with Nathaniel Branden, is glossed of in less than 15 seconds. So I recommend seeing "The Passion of Ayn Rand" for more on that story. A word to the wise: if you buy both this DVD and "The Passion of Ayn Rand", I suggest watching this one first. It will give you a more complete understanding of her background.
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Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life [Import]
Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life [Import] by Michael Paxton (DVD - 2004)
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