7.6/10
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8 user 23 critic

Bill W. (2012)

A documentary about Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Wilson ... Himself (voice)
Dr. Bob ... Himself (voice)
Blake J. Evans ... Bill Wilson
Chris Gates ... Dr. Bob
Dennis Lowell ... Hank Parkhurst
Julia Schell ... Lois Wilson
Denis McKeown
... Ruth Hock
... Anne Smith
Lenore Pershing ... Henrietta Seiberling
Max Owens ... Young Bill Wilson
Ron Nagle ... Bill's Grandfather
Laura Kauffmann ... Martha Deane
Patrick Kleeman ... Bill's Armistice Day Friend
Francis Stallings ... Kathleen Parkhurst
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Storyline

William G. Wilson is co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, a man included in TIME Magazine's "100 Persons of the 20th Century." Interviews, recreations, and rare archival material reveal how Bill Wilson, a hopeless drunk near death from his alcoholism, found a way out of his own addiction and then forged a path for countless others to follow. With Bill as its driving force, A.A. grew from a handful of men to a worldwide fellowship of over 2 million men and women - a success that made him an icon within A.A.. A reluctant hero, Bill Wilson lived a life of sacrifice and service, and left a legacy that continues every day, all around the world. Written by page 124 productions

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Where do we aim what we thirst for?


Certificate:

Unrated
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Release Date:

18 May 2012 (USA)  »

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Soundtracks

"Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007- Prelude
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach (uncredited)
Performed by Yo-Yo Ma
Courtesy of Sony Masterworks
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

 
Redefining Cheating Jerk as "Spiritual"
27 July 2015 | by See all my reviews

I saw this film when I was still active in AA. Because of the harm that AA did to me and the harm I saw it do to others, I have since become a member of the Anti-AA community. I respect the film's slickness, but I also fear it.

Most striking about the film is how it takes several of Bill Wilson's most notorious true behaviors, such as his rampant cheating on his wife; his asking for alcohol on his death bed; the general rumor that he was manipulate and unhappy; and used LSD, and somehow reinvents them so that the viewer leaves the film feeling that all of this just proves even more that Bill W. was a truly "spiritual" and blessed individual.

It is an interesting film because I think it helps to understand how and why AA considers itself "spiritual" when it more accurately is one of the more dangerous of the active and semi-accepted cults in the US today, such as the KKK and Scientology. AA is more dangerous than its less respected cousins because everything that indicates that there is something seriously wrong with the culture of AA, is somehow turned so that the viewer concludes at the end that "Of course, cheating on your wife is just fine for a spiritual leader, such as Bill W" even if the same people would make the opposite conclusion if a political leader did the same.

Thus, the film is most useful in demonstrating how the superior marketing of AA has made it a "spiritual" institution, despite its corrupt standards of ethics and morals. However, this knowledge comes at the risk of being brainwashed by the film itself and actually believing its definition of "spirituality."


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