HBO announced their summer documentary lineup and there are many great looking women directed films — two from Liz Garbus — and others including one about Gloria Steinem directed by men. The 11 week series begins June 6.
Here’s the list (content from the Futon Critic):
June 6 – BOBBY FISCHER AGAINST THE WORLD – directed by Liz Garbus explores the complex life of the troubled genius whose charisma and talent spurred a worldwide fascination with chess. Fischer’s evolution from isolated child to chess prodigy, global superstar, angry recluse and, finally, fugitive from the law is a spellbinding story of the making and unmaking of an American icon.
June 13- A MATTER OF TASTE: SERVING UP PAUL LIEBRANDT – directed by Sally Rowe documents the career of the acclaimed chef – and the cutthroat world of haute cuisine – over eight years. The film follows Liebrandt as he matures from young renegade to one of New York City’s most celebrated chefs with the opening of his renowned Michelin two-star restaurant Corton in Tribeca.
June 20- SEX CRIMES UNIT (June 20) – directed by Lisa F. Jackson takes an unprecedented look inside the Manhattan District Attorney’s famed Sex Crimes Unit, the first unit dedicated to the prosecution of sexual assault to be established in the U.S. The film follows the day-to-day work of prosecutors as they deal with investigations, trials and plea bargains. Among other cases, it tracks The People v. Kevin Rios, in which a prostitute makes an accusation of rape, and follows one woman’s experience with the Cold Case Unit when her accused assailant, originally indicted on the basis of his DNA profile, is finally identified and brought to justice 16 years after the crime.
June 27- HOT COFFEE – directed by Susan Saladoff examines the dangers of so-called tort reform and its threat to the civil justice system. Using the now-infamous legal battle over a spilled cup of McDonald’s coffee as a springboard, the film follows four people, including McDonald’s plaintiff Stella Liebeck, whose lives have been affected by their inability to access the courts, as well as caps on punitive damages, and examines the role of corporations and a complicit media in promoting tort reform.
July 4 – CITIZEN U.S.A.: A 50-STATE ROAD TRIP (July 4) – directed by Alexandra Pelosi (HBO’s Emmy(R)-winning “Journeys with George”) follows her as she travels across the U.S. to attend naturalization ceremonies in all 50 states and meets brand-new citizens to find out why they chose America as their home. Commemorating the Fourth of July, the documentary intersperses stories of newly naturalized citizens and interviews with notable first-generation Americans, including Madeleine Albright, Arianna Huffington, Henry Kissinger and Gene Simmons.
July 25 – THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH AUNT DIANE – directed by Liz Garbus revisits the mysterious tragedy of Diane Schuler, who, on July 26, 2009, drove the wrong way on the Taconic Parkway in New York for nearly two miles and then smashed into an oncoming SUV, killing herself, her daughter, her three nieces and all three people in the other car. Her autopsy revealed that Schuler had consumed the equivalent of ten shots of vodka and smoked marijuana shortly before the accident. The film investigates the circumstances behind the enduring mysteries of the incident in an effort to understand what went wrong.
August 15 – GLORIA: IN HER OWN WORDS (Aug. 15) recounts how Gloria Steinem became one of the driving forces of feminism. Beginning as a reporter writing an expose on the working conditions of Playboy Bunnies, she was transformed by learning about women’s horrifying experiences while covering a New York abortion hearing in 1969. The film includes archival footage and interviews showcasing Steinem’s sharp sense of humor, love of life and compassion for humankind. Today, she remains a feminist icon, ever-present on the frontlines of social and political activism. Filmmakers, Peter Kunhardt and Dyllan McGee.