How to Come Alive with Norman Mailer

Director: Jeff Zimbalist

Film Info

  • Year: 2023
  • Film Format: DCP and MP4
  • Runtime: 102 mins
  • Language: In English

Winner - Best Documentary - Atlanta Jewish Film Festival 2024

HOW TO COME ALIVE with Norman Mailer explores the rollercoaster life of America’s most controversial and bestselling author of the 20th Century, Norman Mailer. Propelled by his tremendous ego and contrarian spirit, Mailer’s ceaseless visibility in the public eye lasted 6 decades, during which he had 6 tumultuous marriages, 9 beloved children, 11 bestsellers, 3 arrests, and 2 Pulitzer Prizes. Prophet, hedonist, violent criminal, literary outlaw, and social provocateur, Mailer’s ideas about love, anger, fear, and courage cut to the core of human nature, are more relevant than ever today, and point to a prescription for waking ourselves up, shaking free of society’s expectations, and coming alive as a people.

The first project with full access to Mailer’s family and their archive, the film unearths a treasure trove of intimate and never-before-seen footage, outtakes, audio recordings, and interviews from throughout his life. Mailer lays himself bare, foibles and all. As a lover, fighter, rabble-rouser, and perhaps the last true American public intellectual, he seeks most of all to become a bolder, better human being and encourages us to do the same — to think adventurously, speak fearlessly, and care less about the response... or risk a doomed future.

HOW TO COME ALIVE with Norman Mailer is a Zeitgeist Films release in association with Kino Lorber and will open in theaters in the summer. To book this film please contact Nancy Gerstman or Emily Russo.

A press kit, trailer, stills, jpegs of the poster and social media assets are or will be available to download from our Exhibition DropBox. (Please note: when you click on any item to download you can ignore the login request and click on "Continue to download only.")


Jeff Zimbalist

Jeff Zimbalist is a multi-Emmy and Peabody winning filmmaker most known for IDA and Tribeca Film Festival winner FAVELA RISING (HBO), Emmy winner and Cannes Film Festival favorite THE TWO ESCOBARS (ESPN, Disney), Emmy and Tribeca Film Festival winner MOMENTUM GENERATION (HBO, Universal),  PELÉ; BIRTH OF A LEGEND (Magnolia, Universal), the Emmy winning series REMASTERED (Netflix), Emmy nominated THE LINE (Apple), Emmy nominated 11 MINUTES (Paramount+), SUPER LEAGUE; WAR FOR FOOTBALL (Apple), Sundance and Tribeca festival favorite INVISIBLE BEAUTY (Magnolia), and most recently, Sundance hit SKYWALKERS: A LOVE STORY.


Venue City State Date
Gold Coast Film Festival Great Neck NY JUNE 5 ONLY!
Film Forum New York NY JUNE 28-JULY 11
The Gateway Columbus OH JULY 5-7 ONLY!
Laemmle Royal Los Angeles CA OPENS JULY 12TH
Bantam Theater Bantam CT JULY 18 ONLY!
Avon Theater Stamford CT AUGUST 7 ONLY!
Triplex Great Barrington MA AUG 9-15 ONLY!
Detroit Institute of Art Detroit MI AUG 30-SEPT 1 ONLY!