In January 1970, Michael Brody, Jr., a 21-year-old hippie-millionaire and heir to a margarine fortune, sent the world into a fit when he publicly announced that he would be giving $25 million away to anyone who needed it. This extraordinary gesture sparked a frenzy, with mobs of people camping out on his lawn, phoning him, and writing letters requesting his help. 50 years later, 12 boxes of these letters are discovered in a storage unit—all unopened. What happened with these letters written by strangers whose hopes, dreams, and desperation were laid bare on the page? Whatever became of Brody, the eccentric would-be philanthropist who claimed he wanted to cure the problems of the world through peace and love? His 15 minutes of fame was dotted with drugs, mental illness, and outrageous claims, leaving many wondering, “is he for real?” And within the boxes of unopened letters written to him half a century ago are thousands of deeply personal stories from people whose voices are just now being heard for the first time.—Andrea Passafiume
Keith Maitland follows up the Emmy®-winning Tower with a psychedelic look at money, desire, and love, in his fourth nonfiction feature, Dear Mr. Brody. A director, producer, and screenwriter, Maitland lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Brody producer and cinematographer Sarah Wilson, and their four-year-old son and production assistant Theo.