added: Wed, Feb 1st '17
It's one of the most infamous books ever written. Now get the story of the author who, today, regrets writing it.
Check out the trailer for "American Anarchist," a documentary that explores the dark history of the controversial bomb-making manual "The Anarchist Cookbook."
At 19, anti-Vietnam war protestor William Powell was furious at the U.S. government. And during the height of the counterculture movement in the early '70s, Powell turned all his anger and anti-government fury into something he would later regret. He authored an underground how-to book that contained instructions for making home-made explosives and other dangerous weapons.
Since its original publication, more than forty years ago, Powell's guidebook has been associated with a number of deadly acts of violence, including 1999's Columbine High School massacre. Powell, who is now in his mid-'60s, a husband, a father, and a well-respected teacher, has made numerous requests to stop the publication of his book. But because he never owned the book's rights, it continues to be widely available.
While looking back at his misguided youth, Powell sorts through his conflicted feelings about why he wrote and now disapproves his notorious book in the upcoming documentary, which played at several film festivals last year.
Filmmaker Charlie Siskel, who is the nephew of the late, legendary film critic Gene Siskel, directs "American Anarchist," which is a follow-up to his Oscar-nominated documentary "Finding Vivian Maier."
"American Anarchist" will be arriving in theaters and VOD on March 24th.
In 1970, William Powell wanted to help build a new society, so he taught the world how to blow up the old one. As the heady days of the late 60’s counterculture and political upheaval turned darker, Powell, at age 19, wrote one of the most infamous books ever published: The Anarchist Cookbook. Part manifesto and part bomb making manual, it went on to sell over 2 million copies. Since then, the Cookbook has been associated with decades of violent anti-government attacks, abortion clinic bombings, school shootings and homegrown domestic terrorism.
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 US and has lead an itinerant life ever since. He has traversed the globe teaching kids with special needs -- committed, ironically, to the kinds of kids who in some cases have turned to violence and the Cookbook.
American Anarchist tells a cautionary tale of youthful rebellion and unforeseen consequences, a universal, all-too-human story of a man at the end of his life wrestling with his past, his identity, and coming to terms with who he really is.
directed by Charlie Siskel
release date March 24, 2017 (in theaters and on VOD)