BOOKWARS Urban Literary Documentary “Terrific” – LA Times (includes non-commercial PPR & DSL)


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This title includes non-commercial PPR (public performance rights) & DSL (digital site license) for schools, institutions & libraries.

BOOKWARS "Terrific" - LA Times Urban New York Literary Documentary, 79 min.

"Superb...mesmerizing" NY Film Critics Circle
"Hilarious...fascinating" The New Yorker
"Terrific" LA Times
"RECOMMENDED" - Library Journal

IFP Gotham Award Nominee

SYNOPSIS: the gritty world of New York City street booksellers told in a remarkable story that chronicles their lives and loves and their unique perspectives on life.

Made on location on the streets of New York by a New York City street bookseller during then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's 'quality of life' campaign, 'BookWars' is a pioneering first-person documentary made about the public forum of New York and the USA during that transitional time.

FESTIVALS & SCREENINGS: New York Underground Film Festival, Florida Film Festival, Kansas City Film Jubilee, Seattle 911 Media Arts, Facets Chicago, the Freedom Forum, Museum of Modern Arts, and many more

BROADCASTS: Arte/ZDF, NHK, SVT (Sweden), PBS, Bravo, Metrochannels, Cinemapop & more

NICHES: Arts & Culture * Books & Literature * Urban Studies * Political Science * American Studies


" In BookWars, a superb nonfiction film by first-time feature director Jason Rosette, books are more than sources of knowledge. They are merchandise that’s appraised, bought and sold. They’re also artifacts, sometimes clean and intact but more often damaged, whose condition at the point of sale says plenty about the conscientiousness of the seller. Most of all, they’re an addictive substance." See complete review @

(Kevin Thomas, LA Times)
"The Laemmle Theaters' "Documentary Days" continues Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. at the Sunset 5 with Jason Rosette's terrific "BookWars," in which he reveals the world of his fellow used booksellers who line a stretch of pavement on Manhattan's West 4th Street in Greenwich Village and around the corner on the Avenue of the Americas. Free spirits who've dropped out of the rat race for various reasons, all are striking individuals, some decidedly eccentric.

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(Michael Agger, The New Yorker)
A gritty, low-fi documentary about Manhattan's street booksellers which abounds in fascinating detail. The director and narrator, Jason Rosette, shows how bookselling is the kissing cousin of another urban art form: drug dealing. Both require a knowledge of profitable corner locations, an experienced eye for for potential addicts, and a steady supply of mood-altering substances. In the case of books, you want to be holding works by Carlos Casteneda and Kurt Vonnegut, perennial best sellers on the street. It's a hardscrabble existence: most street booksellers do not vend stolen books; they rely on church fairs, garbage-picking, and the state of New Jersey-"land of the two dollar book."

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//////TERMS OF LICENCE//////

GENERAL CONDITIONS OF LICENSE (PPR & DSL) - Contact for complete details

License is not transferrable.

No admission fee/donation can be collected for any screening or loan of the DVD or video file derived from DVD.

The screening or loan of the DVD takes place on the property of the purchasing venue and not eligible for 'travelling film programs' or festival events on behalf of or sponsored by the purchasing institution.

The audience for the screening is members of the purchasing institution and the screening is not advertised or promoted to the general public.

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