Documentary, dir. by Neil Ortenberg
US, 2007, 98 mins
Obscene is the definitive film biography of Barney Rosset, who acquired Grove Press in 1951 and embarked on a tumultuous career of publishing and political engagement. The first American publisher of Samuel Beckett, Tom Stoppard, Che Guevara, and Malcolm X, he battled the government to overrule the obscenity ban on Lady Chatterley's Lover, Tropic of Cancer and Naked Lunch. But the unyielding and reckless energy Rosset used to publish and distribute controversial works and the provocative Evergreen Review also brought him perilously close to destruction. Neil Ortenberg and Daniel O'Connor’s debut film features music by Bob Dylan, The Doors, and Patti Smith, and never-before-seen footage.
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