Director Alex Gibney has tackled greed (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) and war (the Oscar-shortlisted Taxi to the Dark Side); with his new documentary Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, he tackles a new set of sins and excesses -- from Thompson's then-radical new journalism blending of fact and fiction in the '60s, to Thompson's legendary appetite for self-destruction. Gibney's film includes interviews with a host of people who knew Thompson and his work -- from Hell's Angels leader Sonny Barger to ex-President Jimmy Carter; Thompson moved in eccentric circles, and Gibney's documentary captures Thompson's bizarre orbit though American letters and politics with extensive use of archival footage but also through recreations, animation and more. Asked if Thompson's legacy of mixing fact and fiction made it easy to make a less-than-conventional documentary, Gibney's answer is swift: "I think it made it mandatory; we had to go there. ..."


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