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date: 12th Dec 2013

tags: Biography, Culture

Three years in the making, “American: The Bill Hicks Story” brings the tale of one of modern culture’s most iconic heroes to the big screen. Much more than a comedian, Bill Hicks was and still is an inspiration to millions. This is his story.

Bill Hicks

Performing between the late seventies and early nineties, Bill Hicks’ comedy is still relevant today. Hicks tackled the contradictions of America and modern life head on, with a unique gift for teasing apart the essence of religion, the dangers of unbridled government power and the double standards inherent in  modern society.

Hicks’ life was tragically cut short at thirty-two by pancreatic cancer. But Hicks left a large unseen legacy: his collection of video recordings and hundreds of photographs. These became the starting point for this documentary, which is composed of animations using these archival photos, mixed with archival footage. The film is then narrated by ten of the people who knew Hicks best. For the first time, the personal life and struggles of this iconic figure are revealed.

Directors Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas have created a unique and fascinating film that is sure to delight fans of Bill Hicks and of biography in general. Fans may be interested in why the directors decided to call the film “American”, considering Hicks’ anti-establishment comedy shows. According to Harlock in an interview with WhatCulture!: “Bill was an American, through and through, and despite how some perceive him, he was very patriotic. He loved the ideas that America was founded on but hated what it had become; much of his comedy is based on him examining these aspects of American society and offering solutions to the problems.”

For those who are not already familiar with Bill Hick’s work, this film is the perfect introduction. To the already converted – enjoy!

You can watch it now through our premium rental service, or through your participating public library.

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