A film about the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, by first-time filmmakers Kevin Hanlon and Dan Carracino, will be shown at 7 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday at the Adler Theatre, 136 E. 3rd St., Davenport. Tickets are $5 at the door.|
A question-and-answer session with Mr. Hanlon will take place after the screening on Friday night.
The documentary "Bill W." tells the story of William G. Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, a man included in Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. According to a film synopsis, interviews, re-creations and rare archival material reveal how Mr. Wilson, a hopeless drunk near death from his alcoholism, in late 1934 found a way out of his own addiction and then forged a path for countless others to follow,
Mr. Wilson, who was treated at a New York Hospital, joined the Oxford Group, a nondenominational movement whose tenets were based on honesty, purity, unselfishness and love, according to the A.A. website, aa.org. He and his wife attended meetings in Manhattan, and with Mr. Wilson as a driving force, A.A. grew from a handful of men to a worldwide fellowship of more than 2 million men and women.
Mr. Hanlon, a New York City resident, and Mr. Carracino, a California resident, are lifelong friends who had talked of making a film together since their days in high school. Both have seen firsthand the devastation of alcoholism, as well as the hope offered by Alcoholics Anonymous, according to a news release. After learning that no feature-length documentary had ever been produced about the man who co-founded A.A., they decided to make "Bill W."
The film uses actors to re-enact certain events. In his review, Roger Ebert described Mr. Wilson as "a craggy man from Vermont who had a knack for business but kept drinking himself out of success. Ironically, he was to found an organization that was once studied by the Harvard Business School as a model of nonprofit, self-perpetuating functionality."
"He probably could have made a lot of money by commercializing A.A. (the movie shows John D. Rockefeller as one of his early backers), but he never did," Mr. Ebert wrote. "When members got together, that was a meeting. No dues or fees. The program was carried by oral tradition."
For more information, visit billw.com.
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