Michael Kustow was a producer, writer, and cultural activist. He was born in London in 1939 to a family of immigrants with Russian and Polish backgrounds. Kustow was a second-generation English Jew who identified from an early age with authors such as Franz Kafka, James Joyce, and Bertolt Brecht. He was educated at Haberdashers’ Aske’s School in Hampstead and at Wadham College, Oxford, where he studied English and became involved in the drama department. After his education he went abroad: first to Israel and then to France where he joined the Théâtre de la Cité. Kustow was the associate director of the National Theatre under Peter Hall and of the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as the director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts. In 1982, he became the first arts commissioning editor of Channel 4.
Kustow’s work as a writer include Tell Me Lies (1968) and episodes of the TV Series Sunday Night (2009). He furthermore produced the famous documentary Der letzte Bolschewik (1993).
Kustow died in August 2014 in London.