William S. Burroughs: A Man Within

Documentary, 87 minutes (2010)


William S. Burroughs: A Man Within features never before seen footage as well as exclusive interviews with his closest friends and colleagues. Born the heir of the Burroughs’ adding machine estate, he struggled throughout his life with addiction, control systems, and self. He was forced to deal with the tragedy of killing his wife and the repercussions of neglecting his son. His novel, Naked Lunch, was one of the last books to be banned by the U.S. government. Allen Ginsberg and Norman Mailer testified on behalf of the book. The courts eventually overturned their decision in 1966, ruling that the book had an important social value. It remains one of the most recognized literary works of the 20th century. William Burroughs was one of the first to cross the dangerous boundaries of queer and drug culture in the 1950s, and write about his experiences. Eventually he was hailed the godfather of the beat generation and influenced artists for generations to come. However, his friends were left wondering, did William ever find happiness? This extremely personal documentary breaks the surface of the troubled and brilliant world of one of the greatest authors of all time. “William S. Burroughs: A Man Within” is the first and only posthumous documentary about this legendary figure.

Awards & Accolades

Van Gogh Award for Best Biography, Amsterdam International Film Festival, the Netherlands.

Gold Kahuna Award, Honolulu International Film Festival, Hawaii.

New York Times Critic’s Pick

Sight and Sound Magazine top ten film of the year 2010

Selected Festivals

Official Selection at the 2010 Chicago International Movies and Music Festival

Sao Paul International Film Festival, the Seattle International Film Festival

Sarasota Film Festival, the Maryland Film Festival

Vienna International Film Festival

Jameson Dublin International Film Festival


BFI London Film Festival

Sheffield Doc/Fest