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  • Writer's pictureTeam Acacia

Hunter S. Thompson Political Campaign Doc "Freak Power" Arrives Oct. 23

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

"FREAK POWER: The Ballot or the Bomb" chronicles Thompson's campaign for sheriff against a backdrop of social and political upheaval mirroring today

ASPEN, Colorado -- Gaia Entertainment, MakeMake Entertainment and Sheriff Campaign Films announce the release of Hunter S. Thompson documentary FREAK POWER: The Ballot or the Bomb, detailing Thompson’s irreverent, imaginative, yet deadly serious 1970 campaign for sheriff of Pitkin County, surrounding Aspen, Colorado. The film releases on Amazon to rent Friday, October 23, 2020. 

In 1970, America was grappling with political turmoil that is strikingly similar to what we are experiencing today. Amidst a backdrop of riots, protests, a pointless war that sent young men to die in Vietnam and a corrupt president who lied and spread malicious propaganda, Thompson starts his own political movement, Freak Power, to fight back against corrupt and abusive law enforcement in his community and across America.

FREAK POWER: The Ballot or the Bomb takes us into the turbulent political world of America in 1970 as Hunter S. Thompson mounts his campaign for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado, where Aspen is the county seat. The film follows the irreverent and imaginative campaign of the outlaw journalist as well as the polarized politics of America in the midst of the Nixon administration. During an era when many young people thought the US might be heading for another revolution, Thompson’s progressive and radical ideas resonated with a generation that was deeply disillusioned and actively seeking alternatives to political norms. 

As Thompson and his team grapple with the challenges of trying to transform the political landscape, they come face-to-face with the corruption and cronyism of local politics. Soon, there are death threats, bombings, an agent provocateur, and Aspen becomes a ideological battleground for what “The American Dream” really means. 

“Hunter S. Thompson saw an America at a crossroads then, and we’re at a similar crossroads today,” said co-director Ajax Phillips. “Hunter’s theory of change was that by getting involved, by voting, by volunteering, young people can change their communities. And that’s an important message for today, ahead of a monumentally impactful election.”

FREAK POWER: The Ballot or the Bomb is co-directed by Daniel Joseph Watkins and Ajax Phillips, and produced by Mimi Polk Gitlin (“Thelma and Louise,” “The Breadwinner”) and Angus Wall (editor, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Social Network”). The film is edited by Will Znidaric (“Winter on Fire”), with music by two-time Academy Award-winning composer Gustavo Santaolalla (“Brokeback Mountain,” “Babel”) and an original song, “Valley of Last Resort,” performed by Gary Clark Jr. and Santaolalla, music by Santaolalla and Gary Clark Jr. with lyrics by Paul Williams. Gary Clark Jr. appears courtesy of Warner Records. FREAK POWER: The Ballot or the Bomb is available to rent on Amazon on Friday, October 23, 2020.

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