The Education of Gore Vidal


Bottom 20% of all time (see others with this rank)

Festival Year

2003 (click here to see all competition films from this year)


Documentary Competition

Non-Cast Credits

Deborah Dickson, Susan Lacy, Matt Kapp, Erika Frankel, Don Lenzer, Sakae Ishikawa, Edward O'Connor


Whether you agree with his politics or not, Gore Vidal has retained his vitality as charismatic and witty historian. Although he moved to Italy some 30 years ago, Vidal remains an outspoken critic of American politics, perhaps able to see things more clearly from afar. Born into a privileged class with politics expectations, Vidal chose to confront the status quo and has spent much of his life writing another version of history. He chose novels as his medium, finding them the preferred route to telling the truth.

In Deborah Dickson's masterful film, we witness the potent Vidal in a multitude of settings. We gain access to his villa in Italy, are treated to some of our finest actors reading exerpts from his writings, and accompany Vidal on a trip to the Wilted States. The film incorporates lively clips, such as Vidal sparring with William F. Buckley and Normal Mailer and a Broadway revival of his still-relevant play, The Best Man, but the penality payoff is watching Vidal speak of his life and his work. This highly engaging film provides a rare opportunity to view a true literary icon in all his glory.


Lisa Viola (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)

Film Takes Pace.