ABOUT THE FILM
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.
Writer & Director Charlie Siskel
Producer Charlie Siskel
Executive Producers Matthew Perniciaro, Michael Sherman
Co-Producer Chris McKinley
Associate Producer Abigail Deser
Editor Chris McKinley
Cinematographer Nina Bernfeld
Sound Marc Parazon
Music T. Griffin
2016: Venice, DocNYC
DCP, Blu-Ray, DVD
Available Press Images (click to preview)