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William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe (2009)

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William Kunstler was one of the most famous lawyers of the 20th century. The New York Times called him "the most hated and most loved lawyer in America." His clients included Martin Luther ... See full summary »

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Title: William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe (2009)

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Credited cast:
Herman Badillo ...
Clyde Bellecourt ...
Daniel Berrigan ...
Julian Bond ...
Jimmy Breslin ...
Alan M. Dershowitz ...
Elizabeth M. Fink ...
Fred Hampton ...
Himself (archive footage)
Madonna Thunder Hawk ...
Tom Hayden ...
Bruce Jackson ...
Ronald Kuby ...
Himself (as Ron Kuby)
Karin Kunstler Goldman ...


William Kunstler was one of the most famous lawyers of the 20th century. The New York Times called him "the most hated and most loved lawyer in America." His clients included Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Phillip and Daniel Berrigan, Abbie Hoffman, H. Rap Brown, Stokely Carmichael, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., and Leonard Peltier. In Disturbing the Universe: Radical Lawyer William Kunstler, filmmakers Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler explore their father's life, from middle-class family man, to movement lawyer, to "the most hated lawyer in America." Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The story of controversial civil rights lawyer William Kunstler as told by his daughters.





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Release Date:

November 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Disturbing the Universe: Radical Lawyer William Kunstler  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$10,322 (USA) (13 November 2009)


$57,769 (USA) (18 December 2009)

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User Reviews

Education of a great lawyer
15 January 2011 | by (Berkeley) – See all my reviews

This film is first-rate, very thoughtfully written and elegantly made. Very inspiring. Its strengths are many. There's no fluff, despite its being a valentine from these sisters to their dad. It manages to convey the complexity of their feelings and knowledge of him as a man and of the work he did. Remarkably, as busy as he obviously was, he truly loved these girls and his wife with all his heart. It charts his transformation from Long Island lawyer to national institution through the Civil Rights and antiwar movements and his later work as criminal attorney for the most reviled defendants around. The girls themselves had strong misgivings about these later cases, as did his wife, but he persisted, and in one important case was vindicated after his death. We don't see lawyers like this these days. America has become so pacified that Bush and Cheney can steal two elections and the people won't even get off the couch. Idealism has been replaced by cynical, money-grubbing materialism. This picture reminds us of what constitutes a life well lived.

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