bobby lepire Review

Review: ‘Above the Fold’ a ‘Shockingly Powerful’ Exploration of Robert Scheer’s Career

As it lands on mainstream streaming services, Film Threat celebrates a ‘captivating,’ ‘riveting’ movie benefitting from our editor’s ‘intense passion’ and the ‘engaging and intelligent‘ commentary by Jane Fonda and others.

Executive produced by legendary actor and activist Mike Farrell, “Robert Scheer – Above the Fold” is a feature-length documentary film about our editor, and we are proud to promote it!

The film underscores his unrelenting quest for the truth in any story he reports and charts the shifts in journalistic practice and platforms and explores journalism history such as how Ramparts Magazine influenced Martin Luther King Jr.’s opposition to the Vietnam War, the origins of the famous Playboy Magazine “Lust in my Heart” interview with Jimmy Carter, or how Scheer continually managed to directly challenge billionaires, presidents and generals in dialogue while still maintaining his integrity as the consummate outsider. Commenters include luminaries Jane Fonda, Norman Lear, Daniel Ellsberg and Alice Waters, as well as many journalistic peers of Scheer.

Originally completed in 2019 only months before the pandemic, the film was released this past week onto a slew of major streaming platforms, including (links are direct to the title) Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Apple TV, iTunes, Microsoft, Vudu, and more . (It also is still available on Kanopy, the free streaming service provided by public libraries and universities.) With wider distribution, it is now starting to receive reviews, such as this one, by Bobby LePire writing for Film Threat, excerpted below:

Directors Brogan De Paor and Julie M. Thompson chronicle the defining career of journalist Robert Scheer in Robert Scheer: Above The Fold. The documentary almost solely focuses on the esteemed reporter’s work, with few glances at his upbringing or personal life. As such, anyone looking for a full-blown biography will be left wanting. However, if a viewer wants to hear firsthand the toll it takes to speak the truth, and one’s mind, publicity, and goodwill be damned, then they are in for a most informative ride.

Born in 1936, Scheer’s mother was Jewish and his father German, so one can imagine what must’ve been like for him. However, his parents instilled a strict moral code that favored seeking the truth and getting it out there for the world to know. As such, throughout his journalism, that has been what Scheer has done. From the founding of Ramparts in 1962 to working at the Los Angeles Times for nearly two decades and from Truthdig to his time as part of a widely loved political talk show, he has brought that same moral compass to it all. . . .

. . . However, the power of Scheer’s journalistic endeavors, the commanding way he speaks, and the intense passion he demonstrates throughout are captivating. The journalist owns every minute he’s on-screen, be it in new interviews or archive footage, and all watching will hang on his every word. When he’s discussing the coup to boot him out of Ramparts, Scheer is as riled up and animated as ever. Happily, the other interviewees, including Jane Fonda and Arianna Huffington, are also engaging and intelligent.

Robert Scheer: Above The Fold is not the definitive look at the man, but it is the authoritative overview of his accomplishments. Mind you, Scheer’s reporting, articles, and interviews are absolutely worth celebrating. De Paor and Thompson don’t offer much style, but they wisely let the man speak for himself, which is riveting. Couple that with the other compelling interviews, and one gets a shockingly powerful documentary.

[For the full Film Threat review, click here]

Available now on iTunes, Apple TV, Prime Video, Google Play, Microsoft, and Vudu!

Learn more about Robert Scheer: Above the Fold and upcoming events!

2 comments

  1. On January 16, 2020, I was extremely honored to host Robert Scheer, and two of his associates, as my luncheon guests at the 19 Restaurant in Laguna Woods. Before the lunch he gave me a Blu-Ray of “Above the Fold.” Later that day, he spoke to a very enthusiastic, overflow crowd of Laguna Woods Village Concerned Citizens.

    Two days later, after totally being blown away by the impact of the film, I contacted Mr. Scheer to ask his permission to show the film to our group, with the possibility that it might be shown in our 800 seat Performing Arts Center. He was interested, in fact, he said he might even be able to get the directors to appear for a Q&A after the screening. Naturally, I was ecstatic!

    I then contacted the head of the program committee with Concerned Citizens to get their approval. To make a long story short, after a brief consultation with the higher-ups, my contact said that Concerned Citizens was “not interested.” It was a myopic decision on their part, but it was their loss!

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