Hunter S. Thompson, the inventor of Gonzo journalism, died on February 20, 2005. He committed suicide with a rifle shot to the head. His last request was that he wanted his ashes to be shot from a cannon at his estate near Aspen, Colorado. At the request of Thompson’s family, an essay contest was held in the Aspen Daily News so that private artillery owners could describe why their cannon was the most suitable for firing Thompson’s ashes.
None of them got the job however and Johnny Depp, a personal friend of Thompson (who had portrayed his alter ego Raoul Duke in the film adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), decided to handle the ceremony himself. Depp spent two million dollars to have Thompson’s remains blasted out of a 153-foot tall tower shaped as a two-thumbed Gonzo fist.
In this engaging and often quite funny documentary, director Blue Kraning provides essay contestants with the opportunity to pay a final tribute to their outlaw hero. These ‘Gonzo patriots’ enjoy Thompson’s unique view on American politics and society and also share his passion for heavy artillery. As they read or quote their favourite Thompson fragments and discuss contemporary American politics, it becomes obvious that Thompson was an important voice that will be sorely missed. Something his followers compensate with the sound of on-going cannon fire!
International Film Festival Rotterdam – Catalogus 2005
Mijn allereerste publicatie. Oorspronkelijk verschenen januari 2005