The legendary journalist Dr. Hunter S. Thompson is a counter-cultural icon from the 1960s and ’70s, famous for his biting criticisms of the Nixon administration published in Rolling Stone and his wild lifestyle involving drugs, alcohol, and the Hell’s Angels. To document this iconic figure, Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney has crafted the documentary Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.
This fascinating film chronicles the life of this complex man, beginning with his childhood and leading up to his suicide in 2005. While much of the narrative focuses on Thompson’s coverage of the 1968 and 1972 presidential elections – in particular, his passionate advocacy for Democractic candidate George McGovern – viewers will also get an intimate look at Hunter’s inner turmoil as he struggles with fame, disillusionment, self-destruction, and insecurity.
Gibney’s balanced approach ensures that no one element is given undue weight or reverence; instead we are presented with a vivid portrayal of who Thompson was as a person beyond just a hard-drinking writer. Interviewees such as Pat Buchanan, Ralph Steadman (illustrator for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), Jann Wenner (Rolling Stone editor), online Johnny Depp (who played him in Fear & Loathing) bring Hunter to life through their anecdotes about him while his own words give viewers insight into what motivated him to take risks while striving for truth above all else.
Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S Thompson provides an honest yet captivating window into one of America’s most influential cultural figures while exploring how power can be wielded both for good or ill. This documentary is essential viewing for anyone looking to gain insight into one of America’s greatest journalists – don’t miss it!