The 50 Year Argument

( Japan, United Kingdom, USA / 2014 )
Acclaimed filmmaker Martin Scorsese and longtime documentary collaborator David Tedeschi ride the waves of literary, political, and cultural history as charted by the influential publication, The New York Review of Books, America’s leading journal of ideas for over 50 years. This provocative film explores the power of ideas in shaping history. The film weaves rarely seen archival footage of cultural icons, newly filmed interviews with many of the Review’s current contributors with original footage reflecting the humming, restless energy of the paper's brilliant and charismatic editor Robert Silvers at work in the Review’s West Village offices.
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Formats: Digital Copy
Running Time: 96 min.
Theme: American History, Arts and Culture, Current Affairs, History, Human Rights, Investigative Journalism, Literature, Media see all »
Language(s): English
Director(s): Martin Scorsese see all »
Producer(s): Margaret Bodde, David Tedeschi, Martin see all »
Cinematographer: Lisa Rinzler
Editor(s): Michael J. Palmer, see all »
Excluded regions: Canada, Japan, Italy, see all »
The 50 Year Argument


  • "Martin Scorsese celebrates 50 years of The New York Review of Books in this incisive portrait of a vanguard cultural institution."
    Scott Foundas
  • "A fascinating account of a publication that defies the modern culture of news reporting"
    The Guardian
    Henry Barnes
  • "Handsomely shot contemporary interviews and well-curated retro footage, personal anecdote and frontline reportage... A documentary with such rich subject matter and such a stellar cast of cultural heavyweights, which both solicits and rewards curiosity from its audience... A warm, engaging, celebratory love letter from one New York institution to another
    The Hollywood Reporter
    Ashley Lee
  • "A visual valentine, a (deserved) tribute to the NYRB editor Robert B. Silvers.
    The Journal of American History
    Stephen J. Whitfield
  • "This is a well crafted, and beautiful, greatest-hits showreel"
    Arthur Thompson
  • "A surprisingly accessible and appealing appreciation of the NYRB. Celebratory... Intellectual... One of the best-looking and one of the least subjective nonfiction films from Scorsese"
  • "A fascinating look back on the major social and political events of the second half of the 20th century and early years of the 21st..."
    Globe and Mail
    Mark Medley

Academic Notes

Quotes & Tweets

Festival participation

  • Berlinale Special 2014
  • Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014
  • Jerusalem Film Festival 2014
  • Toronto Film Festival 2014
  • Telluride Film Festival 2014
  • New York Film Festival 2014

viewers comments

Additional Info
Supervising Producer: Mikaela Beardsley
Executive Producers: Chad, Michelle Verdi, Joshua Sason
Executive Producer for BBC Arena:Anthony Wall
Executive Producers for WOWOW: Hajime Hashimoto, Kayo Washio

Production Company:
Distribution Company: Cinephil

The 50 year argument

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