Gibney, who directed Taxi to the Dark Side and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, uses interviews with political figures like President Jimmy Carter, George McGovern and Pat Buchanan along with the literary figures like Tom Wolfe and Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner to paint a picture of the man who changed the way journalism could effectively tell a story.
Unlike other journalists of the late 60s and 70s, Thompson told the story from behind closed doors, which often provided a more accurate, daring depiction of what was actually happening in local and national politics.
“The film shows the impact of journalism on politics,” said Anita Thompson, Hunter’s widow, in an interview last week. “The way political reporting was viewed before Hunter came onto the scene was that it was unheard of to speak openly on what went on behind the scene. Hunter did more than just repeating a press release.”
Anita will be joining Gibney for a question and answer after the film screens on Friday.
“It’s a great documentary,” she said. “It focuses on his early works in the late 60s and early 70s. I am really looking forward to the panel discussion after the film. I have never been to Telluride and I am really looking forward to it.”
Anita began working as Thompson’s assistant in 1999. In 2000, she moved into his Woody Creek, Colo. home and three years later they were married. After Thompson took his life in 2005, Anita began work on her own book, The Gonzo Way, which was published last year.
“The reason I wrote the book in the first place was sort of a response to hundreds of letters I received, mainly from young people,” Anita said. “Many of them had a misconception of Hunter’s success.”
Anita said she organized The Gonzo Way with “seven lessons that I learned from Hunter. It was his dedication and loyalty that made his lifestyle possible.”
Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival this year, will be shown tonight, Friday, May 28, at 9:30 p.m. at the Nugget Theatre. The question and answer with Gibney and Anita will be held after the film.