Stephen Gyllenhaal Talks ‘Uncharitable’ Movie: “It’s Designed To Be About Hope”


Filmmaker Stephen Gyllenhaal has described his latest project Uncharitable as a movie and not a documentary in hopes that viewers can meet his feature on a cinematic level. Whatever term you want to give Uncharitable, it is a value added film about how the charitable sector continues to struggle thanks to misperception and prejudices. Gyllenhaal talked about why, even in the midst of the overwhelming problems our world faces, “hope” can be a viable solution.

Stephen Gyllenhaal has carved out a highly successful career as a director. I am a huge fan of his features Waterland, Paris Trout, and Losing Isaiah. His high school mates also gave Gyllenhaal a level of praise. But when he mentioned his work on Uncharitable, the reactions were not effusive.

“I’m a big Hollywood director, whatever,” said Gyllenhaal. “I go back to my hometown and I’m like the big deal at my class reunion. When I mention a few years ago that I was doing a documentary on charity, the sheen came off. It was like, “oh, he’s old now and he’s just doing meaningless stuff.”

Well, it’s not meaningless stuff, but it showed me the degree to which it’s almost an embarassment to say I’m trying to do good. F**k that. I’m going to be careful with my language but my language gets like a pirate sometimes. Because it needs to be sexy and tough.”

The movie, based on Dan Pallotta’s TED talk and his book Uncharitable, features interviews with Pallotta, Edward Norton (actor and Crowdrise founder), Steve Nardizzi (former CEO and co-founder of Wounded Warrior Project), and Darren Walker (President of the Ford Foundation).

We review (and recommend) Uncharitable on CinemAddicts:

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Uncharitable is now playing in select theaters. Go to its official website for more information.

Check out my interview with Stephen Gyllenhaal, who talks about the “emotional experience” behind Uncharitable: