"I Am Evel Knievel" features footage of Evel's greatest jumps, including the seminal Snake River Canyon and Caesars Palace jumps. The film also showcases Knievel's rise from a small town ... See full summary »
Willie G. Davidson,
Biography of the famed motorcycle daredevil, much of which was filmed in his home town of Butte, Montana. The film depicts Knievel reflecting on major events in his life just before a big ... See full summary »
Twice a year the Italian city of Siena goes crazy for the oldest horse race in the world: the Palio. Not your average race: strategy, bribery and corruption play as much a part as the skill... See full summary »
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving November 2012, four boys in a red SUV pull into a gas station after spending time at the mall buying sneakers and talking to girls. With music ... See full summary »
A physician in Michoacán, Mexico leads a citizen uprising against the drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. Across the U.S. border, a veteran heads a paramilitary ... See full summary »
Tim Nailer Foley,
José Manuel 'El Doctor' Mireles,
Enrique Peña Nieto
'Welcome to Leith' is a feature documentary chronicling the attempted takeover of a small town in North Dakota by notorious white supremacist Craig Cobb. Filmed in the days leading up to ... See full summary »
Michael Beach Nichols,
Christopher K. Walker
When Warren Jeffs rose to Prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, he took control of a religion with a history of polygamous and underage marriage. In a short time, ... See full summary »
Shannon Whisnant purchased a grill at an auction. Inside the grill was an amputated leg. What follows is a story centered on the enterprising Whisnant and John Wood, the man whose leg wound up in the grill due to an odd chain of events.
Robert ("Evel") Knievel grew up in a tough mining community in Bute, Montana, where the prevailing philosophy seemed to be to throw a punch first and ask questions later. Gender roles were well-established there: the men had to be aggressive as well as assertive, while the women simply existed to serve them.
This upbringing had a profound effect on Knievel's subsequent life, which was dominated by the desire to prove he was the best. After a successful, if meteoric career selling insurance and motor-cycles, he decided to become a stuntperson. He began by working as part of a team, but soon discovered there was far more kudos attached to working on his own. The Evel Knievel legend was born. With a combination of brash salespersonship and often crazy stunts - that frequently went wrong - Knievel rose to the top of the celebrity tree, making fantastic sums of Money and appearing regularly on big chat-shows of the Seventies hosted by Johnny Carson and Dick Cavett.
Daniel Junge's documentary also shows that he was a deeply unpleasant person. He was serially unfaithful to his wife, and any member of the press unfortunate enough to cross his path was subject to a torrent of abuse. While certainly suffering from insecurities immediately prior to his various stunts, Knievel was also driven by hubris, prompting him to put his life (and family) continually at risk. No one, it seemed, was more important than himself.
His fall from grace was as rapid as his rise. Sentenced to six months in jail for assaulting his one-time publicity manager, he continued to manipulate the media for his own ends, without realizing that they had turned against him. Lucrative contracts were suspended; the girls, gold and glitter evaporated; and Knievel was left virtually destitute.
In his last years he tried to atone for his past behavior, but the documentary suggested that this was equally driven by hubris: why not manipulate the media in another way, even though you might be on the professional scrap-heap? BEING EVEL told a cautionary tale of a celebrity who quite literally did not understand the limits - either of human endeavor or his close associates' patience with him. Despite his enduring reputation, he came across as a rather sad case.
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