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The 50 Year Argument


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.


  • Variety
    "Martin Scorsese celebrates 50 years of The New York Review of Books in this incisive portrait of a vanguard cultural institution."
    Scott Foundas
  • The Guardian
    "A fascinating account of a publication that defies the modern culture of news reporting"
    Henry Barnes
  • The Hollywood Reporter
    "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
    Stephen Dalton
  • The Journal of American History
    "A visual valentine, a (deserved) tribute to the NYRB editor Robert B. Silvers.
    Stephen J. Whitfield
    "This is a well crafted, and beautiful, greatest-hits showreel"
    Arthur Thompson
  • FSR
    "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"
  • Globe and Mail
    "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..."
    Mark Medley

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

Additional Materials

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