V’17: OCTOBER 19 – NOVEMBER 2, 2017

American Anarchist

V' 16

American Anarchist

Charlie Siskel
USA, 2016
Documentaries, 80min, OF

Courtesy JP Laffont/Polaris © Viennale © Viennale

American Anarchist

Charlie Siskel
USA, 2016
Documentaries, 80min, OF

Actors: 
William Powell
Screenplay: 
Charlie Siskel
Camera: 
Nina Bernfeld
Composer: 
T. Griffin

Production: 
Patna Pictures
World Sales: 
United Talent Agency
Format: 
DCP
Color

AMERICAN ANARCHIST is a documentary about William Powell who, at age 19, wrote one of the most infamous books ever published: “The Anarchist Cookbook”. Part manifesto and part bomb-making manual, Powell’s book went on to sell over two million copies and has been associated with decades of violent anti-government attacks, abortion clinic bombings, school shootings and homegrown domestic terrorism. At the time of the book’s publication, an FBI memo described it as “one of the crudest, low-brow, paranoiac writing efforts ever attempted.” Now 65, Powell is a man haunted by his own creation, struggling to make sense of the damage it has done. After writing the book, Powell left the U.S. and has led an itinerant life ever since. The film examines the role this book has played in the life of its author, who wrote it in the midst of the counterculture upheaval of the late 60’s, early 70’s. (Nancy Tartaglione)

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