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., but also an alcoholic unable to be a member of the very society he had created.
A reluctant hero, Bill Wilson lived a life of sacrifice and service, and left a legacy that continues every day, all around the world. The film well researched and organized. There is an extensive back story and lore to the A.A. movement that many are not even aware of. For example, Kevin Hanlon interviewed Ernest Kurtz, author of Not-God, a doctoral dissertation and a definitive work on A.A. history. This documentary had to be made by an outsider as A.A. itself could never have internally agreed to make this film. It is great to have this bit of history pulled together in a balanced manner.
I saw it the first time in a theater when it came to San Jose for only one showing at the Camera 3 downtown. I have been an A.A. history student for a long time. I thought it was fantastic. Some of the scenes had never been seen before and some of the information contained in it has been hidden for many years. It is a fabulous, fairly accurate documentary. If you know nothing at all about A.A. or a great deal, you will probably find this DVD interesting.
Directors: Dan Carracino, Kevin Hanlon
Year of Release: 2012
Character to watch: Bill Wilson as Himself.
Journal your answers to the following questions after you watch the movie.
- How does this particular character’s journey compare with yours?
- Did the character develop certain characteristics during the movie that you have or that you would like to have? If so, what are those characteristics?
- What obstacles did this character face? What was his or her biggest challenge?
- What would you have done differently if you had been in the same position as the character?
- Is this character the type of person you would be friends with? Why or why not?