Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee

Nanette BursteinUSA100 minutes201618AColourEnglish Spanish

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Nanette Burstein (On the Ropes, The Kid Stays in the Picture) delves into the strange story of John McAfee, who went from millionaire software mogul to yogi, Kurtz-like jungle recluse to potential murderer, and most recently a prospective presidential candidate for the American Libertarian Party.

Mysteries abound in the life of John McAfee. He made millions creating antivirus software, then reinvented himself as a yogi, a proponent of herbal medicine, and a serial entrepreneur. He was known for his charm and generosity. Then his life took another turn. He moved from the US to Belize and built a heavily armed compound in the jungle, like a modern day Heart of Darkness. McAfee never shied away from media attention and boasted of his libertine lifestyle, maintaining a harem of young women. In 2012 his neighbour in Belize, an American named Gregory Faull, was found murdered by a gunshot. Sought for questioning by local authorities, McAfee fled to Guatemala, then returned to the US where he pursued the Libertarian Party nomination for President in 2016.

Over the years, journalists have told pieces of McAfee's story (including the infamous Vice report accidentally revealing his secret location). Here the Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Nanette Burstein delivers a deep investigation that sheds new light on the shadows around the 70-year-old mogul. McAfee refuses her requests for an interview, but continues a strange cat-and-mouse email correspondence for months.

In Belize, Burstein conducts revelatory new interviews with McAfee's former associates, uncovering his bizarre behaviour with women, local gangsters, and guns. She probes into the investigation of the unsolved murder of Faull, and learns of other allegations against McAfee for crimes that were never prosecuted.

Paranoia runs high on all sides of this story, but Burstein never backs down in pursuing answers.

THOM POWERS

CrimeUSAScience + TechnologyBiographyDocumentaryFemale DirectorLatin America