Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements

American Anarchist

2016, Charlie Siskel, USA, 80 min.

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Show Times

  • Fri, Apr 14th 8:15pm
  • Sat, Apr 15th 5:30pm
  • Sun, Apr 16th 3:00pm
  • Mon, Apr 17th 6:00pm
  • Mon, Apr 17th 8:15pm
  • Wed, Apr 19th 6:00pm
  • Thu, Apr 20th 8:30pm
First Chicago run!

"This is an intriguing and original study, and a great scoop for Charlie Siskel." — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian.

"Compelling...Siskel proves his impressive knack for stumbling upon rich and intriguing documentary subject matter." — Jessica Kiang, Variety

In 1970, 19-year-old William Powell, angered by police brutality and the Vietnam War, wrote a book, based mainly on military manuals found in the public library, that offered instructions on how to make bombs, booby traps, and other implements of guerrilla warfare. Titled "The Anarchist Cookbook" by its publisher, it became a controversial bestseller, is still in print, and has often been found among the belongings of the perpetrators of school massacres, abortion-clinic bombings, Al Qaeda attacks, and similar terrorist acts. Filmmaker Siskel (FINDING VIVIAN MAIER) seeks out Powell, now an expatriate schoolteacher who has long since repudiated his radical past and the book itself. By turns remorseful, evasive, and confused, Powell is subjected to a confrontational interview that raises troubling questions about the extent of personal responsibility, and the tendency of our youthful selves to commit actions that will haunt us in later life. DCP digital. (MR)

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