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Listen to most of comedian Bill Hicks’ material and it’s hard to believe that it’s nearly two decades old – every year it just seems to get more and more relevant, what with institutional corruption and the continual push for a dumbed-down, impotent public. Which makes it all the more tragic that he’s not around to maintain the rage and challenge the status quo (Hicks died in 1994 from pancreatic cancer, aged 32). His legacy though will live on, especially with new documentary movies such as American: The Bill Hicks Story:

Three years in the making, AMERICAN: The Bill Hicks Story brings the tale of one of modern culture’s most iconic heroes to the big screen.

Much more than a comedian, Bill Hicks was and still is an inspiration to millions. His timeless comedy tackled the contradictions of America and modern life head on. But his unique gift was to tease apart the essence of religion, the dangers of unbridled government power and the double standards inherent in much of modern society, using nothing but his hilarious ideas and the uncompromising observational style that continues to resonate with successive generations.

Like many who have a strong sense of their place in history, Hicks left a large unseen legacy; his collection of video recordings and hundreds of photographs and these became the starting point for this feature-length animated documentary.

…Bill’s story is told by the 10 people who knew him best; his family and closest friends who recount the twists & turns of his life with a freshness that hasn’t faded in 15 years. From Kevin Booth, Bill’s talented lifelong friend to the Outlaw Comics who introduced Bill into their heady world of drugs & alcohol, to photographer David Johndrow who perceptively captures some of the most revelatory moments of Bill’s life, each speaker is a compelling narrator who still carries a piece of Bill with them and, woven together, they bring a palpable sense of Bill’s presence to the screen.

Here’s the official trailer (warning – NSFW language in there):

For more information about the film visit the offical site. You might also want to view this extended excerpt from the film (9 mins).