HBO announces their documentary lineup for the first half of 2013, including Alex Gibney’s “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,” Sebastian Junger’s “Which Way is the Front Line from Here?: The Life and Times of Tim Hetherington” and Steven Pressman’s “50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus.”
Synopses and dates for these and more titles below:
MEA MAXIMA CULPA: SILENCE IN THE HOUSE OF GOD (debuting Feb. 4), directed by Alex Gibney (HBO’s Oscar®-winning “Taxi to the Dark Side), examines the abuse of power in the Catholic Church through the story of four courageous Deaf men who set out to expose the priest who sexually abused them. The film follows a cover-up that stretches from the row houses of Milwaukee through the bare ruined choirs of Ireland’s churches, all the way to the highest office of the Vatican.
KINGS POINT (March) tells stories of five seniors in an American retirement resort who struggle with love, loss and the changing nature of relationships after losing their spouses. This bittersweet study explores the tension between the desire for independence and the need for community, underscoring America’s ambivalence about growing old. Directed by Sari Gilman.
AMERICAN WINTER (March) shines a light on people struggling through the country’s worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, spotlighting families in Portland, Ore., as well as the 211 call centers that offer social service assistance. Produced and directed by Joe and Harry Gantz (HBO’s Emmy®-winning “Taxicab Confessions”).
50 CHILDREN: THE RESCUE MISSION OF MR. AND MRS. KRAUS (April), directed by Steven Pressman and narrated by Alan Alda and Mamie Gummer, tells the dramatic, previously untold story of Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, who traveled to Nazi Germany in spring 1939 to save 50 Jewish children. Amid the impending horrors of the Holocaust, they brought what was to date the largest known group of children to the United States, despite the country’s rigid immigration laws.
WHICH WAY IS THE FRONTLINE FROM HERE?: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF TIM HETHERINGTON (April) focuses on the famed war photographer and filmmaker. Through interviews with family and friends, the film paints an in-depth portrait of Hetherington, who was killed by mortar shells in Libya on April 20, 2011 while covering the Libyan civil war. Directed by Sebastian Junger, who co-directed the Oscar®-nominated “Restrepo” with Hetherington.
MANHUNT: THE SEARCH FOR BIN LADEN (May) recounts the tumultuous decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden, culminating in the dramatic raid and assassination in April 2011. Through exclusive footage and dramatic first-person interviews with key figures in Washington, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East, director Greg Barker (HBO’s “Sergio” and “Koran by Heart”) reveals previously hidden truths about one of the most-examined stories of modern times.
TALES FROM THE ORGAN TRADE (May) investigates international organ trafficking and the role the internet plays in the black market exchange. The film explores life-and-death issues surrounding the high demand for organs through candid interviews with people seeking an organ on the black or “grey” market, the traffickers who buy and sell organs to them, and the individuals selling their organs. Produced by Roc Bienstock, Simcha Jacabovici, Bill Cobbin and Brian Edwards.
Upcoming HBO Family programming includes:
A YOUNGARTS MASTERCLASS (Feb., March, April), an ongoing series of half-hour documentaries, follows some of the thousands of high-school students who participate in a program to be mentored by America’s greatest artists in an intimate, interactive classroom environment. Among the legends who serve as mentors on the show are Grammy-winning musician Bobby McFerrin, Tony-winning playwright John Guare and Tony-winning performer Patti LuPone. Directed by Kirk Simon and Karen Goodman (HBO’s Oscar®-winning “Strangers No More”).