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American Anarchist

Hong Kong Shoot for Award-Winning Documentary


Back in November 2015, Nick was asked to shoot footage for Oscar-nominated producer and director, Charlie Siskel. Charlie’s 2013 documentary Finding Vivian Mayer was nominated for the 2015 Academy Award (Best Documentary – Feature), and the 2015 BAFTA (Best Documentary).

Charlie’s new documentary feature, American Anarchist is a profile William Powell, author of one of the most infamous books ever written, the Anarchist Cookbook. The film had its world premiere at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival in August 2016, and is currently on the Festival circuit.

A wider release is expected in March 2017.

The Anarchist Cookbook contained instructions for the manufacture of explosives, rudimentary telecommunications phreaking devices, and many other disruptive and anarchistic methods.

It was, in essence, a terrorist manual, and has been a bible for terrorists and violent extremists for years. Powell wrote the book at the age of 19, in the midst of the anti-war and civil rights movements.

Ever since, he has tried to disown the book and have it removed from circulation.

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“.

Powell was in Hong Kong in late 2015 as part of a global programme he runs to help special needs children, and the educators who teach special needs. Nick was asked by Charlie to follow William and his wife as they toured the streets of Hong Kong, and as he counselled teachers, parents and children with learning difficulties at a school in the territory.

All of the Hong Kong footage in the final documentary was shot by Nick.

Watch the trailer above, or check out the official website for more information and showtimes.