The Rise and Fall of the Brown Buffalo

“A Ascensão e Queda do Brown Buffalo”


USA  |  2018  |  57 minutes  |  Director: Phillip Rodriguez

The Rise and Fall of Brown Buffalo is a documentary that challenges genre conventions, following the life of radical Mexican lawyer/author/countercultural icon - Oscar Zeta Acosta, which became the basis for the character of Dr. Gonzo in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” (penned by his friend, legendary journalist and provocateur Hunter S. Thompson). The film is produced by Academy Award Winning actor, Benicio Del Toro, who also played the part of Acosta in the 1998 film version of “Fear and Loathing”, a cult classic in itself, playing against Johnny Depp as Thompson.


Phillip Rodriguez is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and veteran content provider for PBS. His films bring to light the complexities of Latino culture, history, and identity at a time when his nation’s demographics reflect unprecedented growth in the Latino community and the concomitant demand for relevant storytelling.

Rodriguez’s investigative documentary "Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle" explores the life and mysterious death of the pioneering journalist, and won Best Documentary at the 2014 San Antonio CineFestival and the 2014 Denver XicanIndie Festival. "RACE 2012: A conversation About Race and Politics in America" was awarded a 2013 CINE Golden Eagle Award in the Best Televised News Division – Informational/Current Issue category. "Latinos ’08" received a 2009 CINE Golden Eagle Award for Best News Analysis. "Brown is the New Green: George Lopez and the American Dream" was awarded the 2008 Imagen Award for Best TV Documentary.

Rodriguez’s other critically acclaimed films include "Los Angeles Now", "Mixed Feelings: San Diego/Tijuana", "Manuel Ocampo: God is My Copilot", and "Pancho Villa & Other Stories".
In 2006, Rodriguez received the first annual United States Artists Broad Fellow Award, which honors the country's finest living artists.

A graduate of U.C. Berkeley, he has an M.A. in Latin American Studies (Honors) and an M.F.A. in Film and Television from UCLA. Currently, Rodriguez is a Senior Fellow at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.