An unassuming, Mormon family man. A brilliant physics and engineering student with a goofy smile. Five years ago, neither of these men knew each other, let alone suspected that they'd be drawn into a web suffused with libertarian dogma, hard drugs and the sort of rhetorical dedication that allegedly drove that student -- Ross Ulbricht -- to order a hit on that family man.
That's the weighty world that digital documentarian Alex Winter set out to explore in his new film, Deep Web. By his own admission, the documentary -- which first appeared at SXSW in March and hits Epix on May 31st -- can't tell the whole story of the Silk Road, an anonymous bazaar of hallucinogens, hitmen and, really, whatever you were looking for. Ulbricht is still behind bars after being found guilty of all seven charges leveled at him earlier this year, which included narcotics trafficking, computer hacking and money laundering. One even crowned him a "kingpin," and stuck him with the punishment attached to the title. While he and the rest of us wait to see what his sentencing holds, though, Deep Web acts as an important crash course in the events that led to all this. We spoke to director Winter to understand how and why he put the story together on film.