A.A. Co-founder Spotlighted in New Documentary

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On this edition of Conversations from Studio B, Maureen Wagner talks with members of Clem House, a local recovery center, about Bill W., a new documentary about Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson.

In 1999, Wilson was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Heroes and Icons of the 20th Century. But in 1934, he had faced almost certain death from his uncontrollable drinking.

At the time, medicine viewed alcoholism as a symptom of deeper psychiatric issues, and alcoholics were treated with lobotomies, shock therapy or imprisonment.

Despite this, Wilson found a way to sobriety, and then forged a path for countless others to follow.

With Wilson as its driving force, A.A. grew from a handful of men to a worldwide fellowship of over 2 million men and women. Thousands of people throughout the world now credit him with saving their lives–both alcoholics and members of other 12-step recovery groups.

His leadership eventually made him an icon within A.A.–and a man unable to be a member of the very society he had created.

Through interviews, recreations, and rare archival material, Bill W. traces Wilson’s life through his 17 years of devastating alcoholism, the crucial years of A.A.’s founding and growth, his battle with depression, his experimentation with LSD and his struggle with celebrity status in an anonymous society.

A reluctant hero, Bill Wilson lived a life of sacrifice and service and left a legacy of recovery that continues every day, all around the world.

Hailed by the Village Voice as "a loving, exhaustive, warts-and-all look at the man who spent years battling his own alcoholism before a spiritual experience in the hospital set him on the course to help others," Bill W. paints an honest portrait of A.A. and the man behind it.

Bill W. will be screened at the Athena Cinema Nov. 2 through Nov. 4. $1 of each ticket purchased will be donated to Clem House. Visit the Athena Cinema's website for more information.