Bukowski: Born into This (2003)

Having spoken to some Bukowski fans I have noticed there are quite a few of them that have never seen this. It is met with some apprehension which is understandable.

Poet, novelist and screenwriter, he certainly is the Marmite of the literary world and this film will certainly show you why certain people love or hate him.

Bukowski: Born into This is a compelling documentary directed by John Dullaghan. It features interviews with Bukowski himself alongside archive footage of his readings; we learn a lot about the man behind the words. The documentary really does drill down into the heart and soul of the man who gave us such works as Factotum, Post Office, and Women.

Two things really stand out in this documentary: love and honesty. Charles Bukowski is unashamedly himself and this really shows, not only in his work but also through the documentary. He is very much loved by those who feature, the person that stands out the most is Linda, his wife. It also features a controversial interview with her and Bukowski which is quite difficult to watch.

We have readings from Tom Waits and interviews with Bono and Sean Penn.

If you are a fan you will love this. It has been put together as a portrayal of a writer, it isn’t biased as such but what you see is what you get. It is THE definitive documentary.