Cleveland International Film Festival } March 25 – April 5, 2020 } Tower City Cinemas

Left on Purpose


Year: 2015
Country: USA
Run Time: 85 minutes

Left on Purpose
Left on Purpose
Left on Purpose

“Did the disintegration of the movement lead to their instability, or did the movement attract leaders who were unstable?” asks filmmaker Justin Schein. Since the height of the counterculture movement in the late 60s, radical antiwar activists Abbie Hoffman, Phil Ochs, and Tom Forcade have committed suicide. Among their equally troubled but surviving peers is the subject of Schein’s documentary LEFT ON PURPOSE: Mayer Vishner. An original member of the absurdist protest group the Yippies, Vishner was less visible in the media than his contemporaries, but no less important to the workings of their cause. Fascinated by Vishner’s contributions, Schein sets out to tell Vishner’s story with few expectations. For four years, Schein follows Vishner’s day-to-day life, interviews friends and family, and unearths a treasure trove of counterculture memorabilia in Vishner’s dilapidated Greenwich Village apartment. But as alcoholism and severe depression consume the perpetual protestor, Schein is forced to consider a person’s right to free will and the ethics of his role as a documentarian. – E.B.

CIFF40 Screenings

Tower City Cinemas

Tuesday, April 05, 2016 at 4:15 PM

Wednesday, April 06, 2016 at 9:20 PM

Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Competition

Related Daily Postings
Ethical Dilemma: Dealing with Suicide as a Filmmaker

Justin Schein

Director-cinematographer Justin Schein earned an M.F.A. in Documentary Film and Video Production from Stanford University. In 1998 he co-launched the production company Shadowbox Films. LEFT ON PURPOSE earned Audience Awards at both DOC NYC and the Woodstock Film Festival.

"No Impact Man: The Documentary" (2009), LEFT ON PURPOSE (2015)

Eden Wurmfeld

Justin Schein

David Mehlman

Print Source

Community Partner

American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio

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