William S. Burroughs: A Man Within is a feature-length independent documentary by Chicago Director Yony Leyser, in collaboration with BulletProof Film Inc.
The film features never before seen footage of William S. Burroughs, as well as exclusive interviews with his closest
friends and colleagues including John Waters, Genesis P-Orridge, Laurie Anderson, Peter Weller, David Cronenberg,
Iggy Pop, Gus Van Sant, Sonic Youth, Anne Waldman, George Condo, Hal Willner, James Grauerholz, Amiri Baraka,
Jello Biafra, V. Vale, David Ohle, Wayne Propst, Dr. William Ayers, Diane DiPrima, Donovan, Dean Ripa (the world’s
largest poisonous snake collector), and many others, with narration by actor Peter Weller, and soundtrack by Sonic Youth.
The film investigates the life of legendary beat author and American icon, William S. Burroughs. Born the heir of the
Burroughs’ adding machine estate, he struggled throughout his life with addiction, control systems and self. He was
forced to deal with the tragedy of killing his wife and the repercussions of neglecting his son. His novel, Naked Lunch,
was one of the last books to be banned by the U.S. government. Allen Ginsberg and Norman Mailer testified on behalf
of the book. e courts eventually overturned their decision in 1966, ruling that the book had important social value. It remains one of the most recognized literary works of the 20th century.
William Burroughs was one of the first to cross the dangerous boundaries of queer and drug culture in the 1950s, and write about his experiences. Eventually he was hailed the godfather of the beat generation and influenced artists for generations to come. However, his friends were left wondering, did William ever find happiness? is extremely personal documentary breaks the surface of the troubled and brilliant world of one of the greatest authors of all time.
William S. Burroughs: A Man Withinis the first and only posthumous documentary about this legendary figure.
Tentative release of the film is Autumn 2009.