Report Back from the Minneapolis-St Paul International Film Festival.

Photograph by Peter Lee, the Minneapolis-St Paul International Film Festival Photographer

Emily Kunstler. Photograph by Peter Lee, the Minneapolis-St Paul International Film Festival Photographer

Emily just returned from a terrific screening at the Minneapolis-St Paul International Film Festival.

The film was so well received that the festival programmers have decided to screen the film again during their “Best in Fest” week at the close of the festival.

Our film was sponsored at the festival by lawyers Larry Leventhal (one of the lawyers for the RNC Eight) and Bill Tilton. The night before the screening, my mother (Margaret Ratner Kunstler), and I were able to catch the tail end of the Minneapolis/St. Paul National Lawyer’s Guild annual dinner where we were greeted by many of my father’s old friends.

The Twin Cities were like a second home for my dad. In addition to the American Indian Movement (AIM) cases, he found himself back in the area late in his career when he successfully defended Qubilah Shabazz when she was falsely charged with a plot to kill Louis Farrakhan.

Left to right: Emily Kunstler, Clyde Bellecourt, Larry Leventhal, Ken Tilsen and Bill Means. Photograph by Margaret Ratner Kunstler

Left to right: Emily Kunstler, Clyde Bellecourt, Larry Leventhal, Ken Tilsen and Bill Means. Photograph by Margaret Ratner Kunstler

A few of the stars of our film came out for our screening in Minneapolis and watched the film for the first time. AIM leaders Clyde Bellecourt and Bill Means participated in the Q & A after the film as did my father’s long-time friends and colleagues Ken Tilsen and Larry Leventhal. Ken and Larry worked with Bill on many of the AIM cases.

As at many of our past screenings, the audience was full of people with their own stories about Bill. The stories ranged from what Bill was like to watch in the courtroom, to his favorite steakhouse in downtown St. Paul and what he would order every time.

We have started collecting these personal stories and will be hosting them on our upcoming YouTube page. Do you have a story about meeting or working with William Kunstler? Send us an email. We would love to include your story.

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