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cover: When I Die (2005)

When I Die (2005)

Director(s): Wayne Ewing

Theatrical Release: 2005

Cast: Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, Anita Thompson, Jon Equis, Steve Cohen, Bob Braudis

Genre(s): Documentary, culture, Dean's List

Countries: USA

Location in store: Documentary

(1 / 1)
Ant Rating
Running Time: 60m.

Hunter S. Thompson left detailed instructions for his funeral--a 150-foot monument was to be constructed on his Woody Creek property, topped by the gonzo symbol, a double-thumbed fist holding a peyote button. From the structure, his ashes were to be shot from a canon to fall over the valley that he loved. After his death, HunterĂs family, his community, and Johnny Depp (who covered the multi-million dollar tab) came together to make that dream a reality.

Wayne EwingĂs film documents the construction of the monument and the preparations for the ceremony. Hunter himself only appears in brief footage at the beginning of the film and over the ending credits, but his spirit is very much on display throughout. While the film itself is shot simply, the subject matter and the genuine commitment of the people involved raise this "how they did it" doc above Discovery Channel fare.

In truth, When I Die barely qualifies as a ˘Booze Movie÷ in that apart from a brief clip of Hunter at the end--which Ewing had previously used in Breakfast with Hunter (2003)--there is a total lack of imbibing on display. However, we do get some information as to HunterĂs drinking habits from Christi Palazzi, a local bartender, as she loads a beer fridge for the event.