Directed by documentary filmmaker Tiller Russell, the fact-based crime thriller Silk Road recounts the rise and fall of Austin native Ross Ulbricht, the Darknet market operator known to his customers as “Dread Pirate Roberts.” Love, Simon’s Nick Robinson portrays Ulbricht, who in 2011 launched the website Silk Road as an anonymous marketplace to sell illegal drugs. The FBI arrested Ulbricht in 2013 and shut down Silk Road. He is currently serving a double life sentence, plus 40 years, without the possibility of parole, after being convicted in 2015 on charges of money laundering, computer hacking, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics. Jason Clarke costars in Silk Road as Richard “Rick” Bowden, a DEA cybercrimes agent out to bust Ulbricht. Bowden is a composite character of two Silk Road federal task force members—DEA Special Agent Carl Force and U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Shaun Bridges—imprisoned as committing crimes during the investigation. (Force pleaded guilty to charges of extortion, money laundering, and obstruction of justice; Bridges pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering.) Partially shot in Austin, Silk Road is now available on Blu-Ray and DVD and for digital and on-demand viewing. Silk Road is based on the Rolling Stone” article “Dead End on Silk Road: Internet Crime Kingpin Ross Ulbricht’s Big Fall” by David Kushner, who cowrote the script with Tiller Russell. Silk Roadrepresents Russell’s first narrative feature since the 2010 Kris Kristofferson-Dwight Yoakam western The Last Rites of Ransom Pride. Russell specializes in such crime documentaries and TV series as The Seven Five, Operation Odessa, The Last Narc, and Netflix’s Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer.
Aired: March 25, 2021.