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Aspen Art Museum


Now Screening
Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb

Jan 12, 2021-May 23, 2021
Presented in its entirety throughout the day in the AAM’s first-floor screening space, the 2020 film Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb details iconic writer Hunter S. Thompson’s irreverent, imaginative, yet deadly serious 1970 campaign run for Sheriff of Pitkin County. The film includes forty never-before-seen reels of archival campaign footage shot by Harvard film professor Robert Fulton and nearly 3,000 vintage photos by David Hiser and Bob Kreuger.

Set in the turbulent political climate that came to define the Nixon administration, Freak Power brings to vivid life Thompson’s challenges to transform Aspen’s political landscape. His progressive ideas on social and political reform resonated with a deeply disillusioned younger generation seeking alternatives to polarized political norms. Thompson’s bid faced the corruption and cronyism of local politics, death threats, bombings, an agent provocateur, and the national scrutiny of an FBI intent on preserving a status quo many viewed as antithetical to the ideals and principles of liberal democracy itself.

Film Information:
Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb
A film by D.J. Watkins and Ajax Phillips
2020 | 94 mins
AAM exhibitions are made possible by the Marx Exhibition Fund. General exhibition support is provided by the Toby Devan Lewis Visiting Artist Fund. Further support is provided by the AAM National Council.

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