William Kunstler: Disturbing The Universe

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In William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe, filmmakers Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler explore the life of their father, the late radical civil rights lawyer. In the 1960s and 70s, Kunstler fought for civil rights with Martin Luther King Jr. and represented the famed “Chicago 8” activists who protested the Vietnam War. When the inmates took over Attica prison, or when the American Indian Movement stood up to the federal government at Wounded Knee, they asked Kunstler to be their lawyer. To his daughters, it seemed that he was at the center of everything important that had ever happened. But when they were growing up, Kunstler represented some of the most reviled members of society, including rapists and assassins. This powerful film not only recounts the historic causes that Kunstler fought for; it also reveals a man that even his own daughters did not always understand, a man who risked public outrage and the safety of his family so that justice could serve all.


William Kunstler: Disturbing The Universe is co-directed by Emily Kunstler & Sarah Kunstler.

Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler run Off Center Media, a production company that produces documentaries exposing injustice in the criminal justice system. The sisters founded Off Center Media in 2000, and have produced, directed, and edited a number of short documentaries, including Tulia, Texas: Scenes from the Drug War (2002), which won Best Documentary Short at the Woodstock Film Festival, and was instrumental in winning exoneration for 46 wrongfully convicted people; and Getting Through to the President (2004), which has aired on the Sundance Channel.


Emily Kuntsler looks at the camera. Black and white photograph.Emily Kunstler graduated in 2000 from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Film and Video. She was a video producer for Democracy Now!, an independent national television and radio news program, and a studio art fellow with the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2004.

Sarah Kuntsler looks at the camera. Black and White photograph.Sarah Kunstler graduated from Yale University with a BA in Photography in 1998 and from Columbia Law School with a JD in 2004. She is currently a criminal defense attorney practicing in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York.