Dean Kamen

SlingShot documentary on Segway’s Dean Kamen feels like infomercial

Purportedly about Segway inventor Dean Kamen’s noble quest to provide clean drinking water in the developing world, the documentary “SlingShot” has about enough material to fill one interesting “60 Minutes” segment.

At feature length, though, the film feels like an infomercial pitching another Kamen contraption, a vapor compression distiller. Many scenes seem staged, with the inventor stiffly performing a day in his life for the camera crew as if this were indeed an infomercial.

Director Paul Lazarus devotes much of the running time to constructing Kamen’s cult of personality. He’s variously shown to be a Steve Jobs-type visionary, a Bill Gates-type philanthropist and a John du Pont-type eccentric. His closet of denim shirts and jeans must rival Jobs’ wardrobe of black turtlenecks.



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