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 »
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
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 Idealism has been replaced by cynical, money-grubbing materialism.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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