Gonzo @ The Derby

ESPN 30 for 30  |  Short Film  |  2016


The lasting legacy of the 1970 Kentucky Derby has nothing to do with the winner, Dust Commander. Its true impact came from the assignment that “Scanlan’s Monthly” gave to a 32-year-old writer from Louisville named Hunter S. Thompson. Director Michael D. Ratner revisits that story in this 30 For 30 Short, talking with the late journalist’s editors and friends, including actor Sean Penn. The piece that Thompson turned in — fantastical, riotous and, by the way, late — opened so many eyes that gonzo journalism became an art form. As Thompson’s partner in crime, illustrator Ralph Steadman, says, “We were the face of the crowd we’d gone there to find.”

Directed by: Michael D. Ratner  |  Produced by: Michael D. Ratner, Eric D. Cohen, Matthew Hirschhorn, Roman Gackowski, Sean Paulsen  |  Executive Produced by: Scott Ratner  |  Associate Producers: Ashish Ravinran, Kfir Goldberg, Sean Spencer, William Stefan Smith