Bukowski: Born Into This

Director: John Dullaghan
Year Released: 2003
Rating: 2.0

Respectful documentary about the infamous Californian poet of the downtrodden and drink-sodden Henry Charles Bukowski, detailing his life as a drifter, a Postal employee, womanizer and struggling short story writer. Director Dullaghan includes many of the people who knew him very well - and those that were supposedly influenced by him, like Sean Penn, Bono and Tom Waits - but this is mostly fan worship and archival scrounging, pulling the most remarkable footage from Barbet Schroeder's extensive coverage of Bukowski's live readings and wine-induced outbursts. It never really "separates" the truth from the mystique although it's easy to deduce that - like Hank's literary hero, Hemingway - at some point the two aspects melded together into one indistinguishable whole (at least - unlike Papa - he never ended up with a shotgun in his mouth).