Tragedy trumps triumph in the story of Nelson Algren’s life. Yet, without the many tragic circumstances and events of the life of this legendary American writer the world would not have benefited from his literary triumphs.
Mark Blottner, Ilko Davidov, and Denis Mueller wrote and directed Nelson Algren: The End is Nothing, the Road is All, a biographical documentary of Nelson Algren. Their film celebrates Algren’s literary work as well as the nobility and generosity of his character as a writer—as a human being, he struggled mightily.
Algren’s writings honor and respect the lost, the dispossessed, the marginalized lurking in the confines of a national society that wears diaphanous blinders to these people as well as to its role in creating their damning circumstances.
The three filmmakers pepper their film with readings from many of Algren’s books over images of urban desolation. It seems as if the power of Aldren’s narratives could not or would not exist without the prolific writer making a semi-conscious decision to live a life governed by a need to not escape the worlds of his characters.
The First Run Feature’s DVD Extras include: Short Film: Algren’s Last Night; Slideshow; Stephan Deutch’s Photos of Algren; Filmmakers’ Biographies; and Five Bonus Videos.