American: The Bill Hicks Story


110 minutes| U.K.| 2009| Colour| D-Cinema

See this film for €5! Discounted screening for third level students on Monday May 24th, 8.40pm.

The legendary American comic and social commentator Bill Hicks (1961-1994) is celebrated in this documentary by British directors Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas, who make innovative use of animation techniques to bring to life the man’s early years. Happily eschewing a conventional ‘talking-heads’ approach, the film uses previously unseen performance footage and testimonies only from the people who knew Hicks best, his family and close friends. It’s a fittingly honest and intimate portrait of a man who was scathing in his attacks on society’s efforts to ‘keep people stupid and apathetic’.

Every bit as talented and controversial as the likes of Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor, Hicks never achieved the popularity he deserved in the U.S. because of the conservatism of the country’s mainstream media. Much more than a stand-up comedian – also a libertarian, shaman, philosopher, and preacher – his angry yet illuminating attacks on mainstream society and popular thinking found a much more receptive audience in the U.K. and Ireland.

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