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Kunstler talks about what he sees as the "terrible myth" of organized society and the justice system, which he believes governments throughout history have used to put people to death with an "aura of legality." Read the transcript »

Additional Video

Forty years ago the prisoners at New York's Attica Correctional Facility seized control of the prison. They took hostages and demanded better living conditions. See what happened in this clip from William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe.

Additional Video

This episode of The Open Mind features host, historian and Rutgers University professor, Richard D. Heffner, in conversation with attorney William Kunstler, the subject of William Kunstler, Disturbing the Universe, in 1994.

Filmmaker Interviews

The filmmakers talk about making a film about their father, William Kunstler.


In this intimate biography, Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler seek to recover the real story of what made their late father one of the most beloved, and hated, lawyers in America.

Watch Online: June 23 through September 21, 2010.

  • Updated on March 25, 2015

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Film Information

William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe (90 min.)

Premiere Date: June 22, 2010

Streaming Dates: Expired

Photos: Download Here

Trailer: Link | Embed

Filmmakers: Emily Kunstler, Sarah Kunstler Bio | Interview | Statement

Press: Press Release | Critical Acclaim | Filmmaker Statement


Emily Kunstler
Emily Kunstler
Sarah Kunstler
Sarah Kunstler

While our father lived in front of news cameras, we found our place behind the lens. We hope our film communicates that the world we inherit is better because someone struggled for justice, and that those changes will survive only if we continue to fight.”

— Sarah Kunstler, Filmmaker


Film Update

Critical Acclaim

This is a wonderful, inspiring film.”

— Howard Zinn

Terrific archival footage from a range of seminal civil rights events, as well as affecting narration written by Sarah Kunstler and spoken by Emily Kunstler (who also edited the film), round out this superior documentary.”

— Gary Goldstein,
The Los Angeles Times

A refresher course on the history of American left-wing politics in the 1960s and ’70s.”

— Stephen Holding,
The New York Times

The documentary is expertly put together and never less than compelling. It's a labor of love that helps restore the reputation of a significant player on the American stage in the last half of the 20th century.”

Hollywood Reporter

The film's point is clear. And for those looking for a straight answer, it's this: The bravest lawyer isn't the one who takes on the clients that allow him to feel good about himself. It's the one who takes on the clients that give us nightmares.”

— Michael O'Sullivan,
The Washington Post

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