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Wrestling With Angels

(2006) ** 1/2 Unrated
99 min. Balcony Releasing. Director: Freida Lee Mock. Cast: Tony Kushner, Oskar Eustis, Maurice Sendak, William Kushner, Marcia Gay Harden.
Ever wondered what playwright Tony Kushner was up to from 2002 to 2004? Then Wrestling with Angels is the film for you. Like a series of semi-promotional newsmagazine segments stitched together, Frieda Lee Mock's documentary depicts seemingly every lecture, commencement speech, Q&A, interview, play reading, and play production that Kushner did at that time, including Homebody/Kabul and Caroline or Change. The film's over-emphatic three-act structure can't hide that Mock lacks a compelling format for this material. It's only the belated second act, with its more intimate profile of Kushner's roots, that makes a compelling case for the film's existence. The rest skims the surface of Kushner's public and artistic life, rarely finding more of an imperative than showing us that Kushner's smart, creative, and really busy.
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