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Reviewed: Herblock: The Black & the White
Richard Schickel reviews the Herbert Block documentary “Herblock: The Black & the White” for Truthdig.com.
He seems to have had a quiet confidence, not particularly eager to force his favorites on those he consulted, apparently hiding his hand about the ideas he favored. He was, dammit, a very likable guy. Which, curiously, presents some problems for director Stevens. He has recruited to his film what seems to be every important political pontificator of Herblock’s era and with just one mild exception, they have nothing but good to say about him. Less would perhaps have been more in this realm. I hate to say it, but I’d like to have seen a few right-wing crazies attempt to puncture the man’s saintliness—not that I think they would have succeeded in any significant way.
I caught a snippet of the movie this summer as it was screened at the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists convention in Salt Lake City. I thought it was well done and didn’t realize I was watching an actor play Herblock until told later. It might not be the best documentary to hit the big screen, but I think it’s a valuable film on the life an influential cartoonist.