In the 1960s, at food co-ops and hippie boutiques, there was this strange all-around soap on sale, "Dr.
Bronner's Magic Soap." Wrapped around the squirt-bottle was a 3,000-word label that read like some weirded-out biblical prophesy, ranting about Moral ABC's, Einstein, Spaceship Earth, President Wilson and É you really have to read it to believe it. Now a successful, California-based producer of "green" products carried in upscale stores like Whole Foods, Dr. Bronner's soap still carries the rant on its label. So who is Dr. Bronner? In a lively, informative and unexpectedly moving documentary, Sara Lamm tracks him. The late Dr. Emanuel Bronner was a German Jewish soap-maker who escaped the Nazis, although he lost his parents to the Holocaust. Believing his mission to be to find a more humane religion for a New Age, he became so idiosyncratic he at one point wound up in a mental institution. But he kept making soap. The film also spends time with Bronner's wonderful middle-aged son, Ralph, a gentle and humorous man devoted to social change and meaningful corporate relationships. It's available for sale from magicsoapbox.com. (Steven Rosen) Grade: B+
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