BILLY JACK in Person @ CINEFAMILY Friday July, 2nd

Forget Buford Pusser and Paul Kersey -- Billy Jack is by far the baddest, coolest, take-no-prisoners vigilante justice merchant of the '70s cinema universe. This half-Cherokee, ex-Green Beret, gun-slinging, karate-chopping mystic is one of the greatest walking contradictions in an era that perfected the form -- and Billy Jack, the most well-known of four epic, visionary works starring this superhuman everyman, still slays forty years on! When the seemingly mild-mannered, wandering Vietnam vet Billy Jack happens upon a vicious conflict pitting the students of a peace-loving, desert "freedom school" for runaways against oppressive locals, Billy is drawn towards his Native American side, and in a fight for the underdog kicks the violent townies’ asses with a dose of manic martial arts (which, at the time, was completely unseen in American film). Conceived and played by actor/director/writer/political activist (and later, Jungian pysychotherapist and three-time US presidential candidate) Tom Laughlin, the film features many non-actors who improvised most of their dialogue, as well as a sudden awesome appearance by the San Francisco improv group The Committee (featuring Howard Hesseman). With Coven’s “One Tin Soldier” as its theme song, this influential, action-packed, cult film remains a landmark focusing on the most emotional themes of its time: anti-establishment sentiment, two-sided justice, prejudice and racial segregation. Tom Laughlin will be joined by Process Media impresario Jodi Wille for a discussion between films! Dir. Tom Laughlin, 1971, HDCAM, 114 min.

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