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HBO Documentary Films continues its commitment to groundbreaking films in the second half of 2012. From an in-depth portrait of Ethel Kennedy by her daughter, to Rosie O’Donnell’s ‘Don’t Divorce Me! Kids’ Rules for Parents on Divorce’, to a moving look at dyslexia from James Redford, HBO showcases works by top directors who tackle thought-provoking topics.
Upcoming HBO documentaries include (in chronological order):
‘Don’t Divorce Me! Kids’ Rules for Parents on Divorce’ (September 20) spotlights children ranging in age from five to ten who have met the confusing, often-painful challenge of their parents’ divorce. Combining candid interviews, drawings, songs and photos, this insightful film gives kids a chance to share poignant stories of how divorce has impacted their lives – and offer helpful advice to their parents.
Executive produced by Rosie O’Donnell (HBO’s “A Family Is a Family Is a Family”), this heartfelt, upbeat documentary shows how children comprehend and cope with the separation of their parents, suggesting ways adults can make this difficult transition easier for their kids. Directed by Emmy winner Amy Schatz (HBO’s “Classical Baby”).
‘The Latino List: Volume 2’ (September 24) focuses on a remarkable group of Latino notables as they share candid personal stories in intimate interviews with NPR correspondent Maria Hinojosa, offering a unique glimpse into the vibrant and flourishing culture of Hispanic America. Directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders (HBO’s “About Face: Supermodels Then and Now” and “The Black List”), the film spotlights individuals from a variety of backgrounds and professions who have richly contributed to the fabric of contemporary society, including George Lopez, Soledad O’Brien, and Victor Cruz.
‘Ethel’ (October 18) celebrates the remarkable life of Ethel Kennedy, the wife of Robert F. Kennedy, highlighted by revealing, little-known anecdotes from those who know her best: her family. Directed by Emmy-winning daughter Rory Kennedy (HBO’s “Ghosts of Abu Ghraib”), this personal portrait is the first film made about the Kennedys from within the family.
The documentary features candid interviews with Ethel – her first extended interview in more than two decades – and her children Kathleen, Joe, Bobby, Courtney, Kerry, Chris and Max, spanning her political awakening, the life she shared with Robert Kennedy, and the years following his death, when she raised their 11 children.
‘The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia’ (October 29), a 2012 Sundance Film Festival selection, tells the moving story of four young people who strive to overcome dyslexia and surpass society’s low expectations.
Inspired by the challenges facing his son Dylan, who was diagnosed as dyslexic after being functionally illiterate in the fourth grade, filmmaker James Redford includes appearances from such notable dyslexics as Sir Richard Branson, Charles Schwab, Gavin Newsom and David Boies, all of whom confirm what children, experts and families suggest: Dyslexia is as much a gift as a challenge.
‘Witness’ (November) follows a new generation of young combat photographers into conflict zones in Mexico, Brazil, Uganda and Libya. The four-part series chronicles these photo journalists’ immersions, their relations with the people on the ground and their closeness in battle – showing audiences why, when everyone else seeks cover, the war photographer stands.
Produced in collaboration with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Mann (“Ali,” HBO’s “Luck”) and acclaimed documentary and commercial director David Frankham.
‘The Lady of Rangoon’ (December) profiles Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the opposition movement for democracy in Burma, who was under house arrest for 15 of the last 21 years. The film features an interview that was filmed covertly before her release. Directed by Angus MacQueen.