Synopsis by Mark Deming
Lawrence Ferlinghetti is one of America's best known and most respected poets, a major figure of the Beat poetry scene of the 1950s and the proprietor of City Lights Books, a bookstore and publishing house that has distributed important works from Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso, William S. Burroughs, Charles Bukowski and many more. Raised by an immigrant couple, Ferlinghetti began writing shortly before he went into the Navy during World War II; his company was sent to Nagasaki just weeks after the atomic bombing of Japan, an experience that he says made him "an instant pacifist." When he returned, Ferlinghetti became a political activist who believed that art and literature could help reshape society. Through his own poetry (including the collection A Coney Island Of The Mind, which went on to sell more than a million copies) and his work with other activist writers, Ferlinghetti has represented the heart, soul and conscience of American literature for well over six decades. Filmmaker Christopher Felver offers a homage to the writer's life and work in the documentary Ferlinghetti, which includes interviews with Michael McClure, Dave Eggers, Dennis Hopper, Anne Waldman, Gary Snyder and more. Ferlinghetti received its world premiere at the 2009 San Francisco International Film Festival.
activism, American [nationality], Beatnik, bohemian, poet, writing