MIAMI, FL, Sept.12, 2019 – HBO announced the launch of its new documentary season, which will air from Oct.1 through Nov.26 with a new release every Tuesday on HBO and HBO GO.
Subscribers will have access to revealing stories that will allow them to get to know more about the lives of renowned characters, such as American fashion designer Ralph Lauren, or the triplets separated by a secret scientific study. This season will also present the story of the bloodthirsty ISIS terrorist known as "Jihadi John," and a look behind the scenes at one of soccer’s best teams ever formed, Barça. In addition, viewers will travel to Brazil to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the launch of the iconic LP "Refavela" by Gilberto Gil.
The new season is full of fascinating stories about current issues and controversial characters that have captured worldwide attention. Find below the documentaries that will be premiering this season:
October 1 - THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS
This documentary, nominated for three Emmy awards, follows the story of Robert Shafran, Eddy Galland and David Kellman – American triplets, born in 1961 and adopted at six months of age by different families, none of which knew each child had siblings. The separations were made as part of the covert scientific study "Nature versus Parenting,” to track the development of genetically identical siblings raised in different circumstances. By combining archive images, recreated scenes and current interviews, the documentary reveals how the brothers discovered each other at age 19 and then tried to understand the circumstances of their separation.
In 1995, Mohammed Emwazi was an elementary student in London with a promising future ahead. By 2014, he had become known as "Jihadi John," an ISIS masked terrorist who internationalized his notoriety by broadcasting himself beheading Western hostages on the Internet. The documentary examines what drove Emwazi down a violent path and highlights operational failures in his search, declared by anti-terrorism officials. Although the US and British authorities were aware of his extremism, Emwazi became the main executor and propagandist of ISIS.
HBO will re-air this 90-minute documentary that features a deep investigation into the sex abuse scandal that shook the sports world in 2017. The program examines how Dr. Larry Nassar, the osteopathic doctor of the US women's Olympic gymnastics team, managed to abuse his patients for many years without being discovered. Featuring exclusive interviews with survivors and perspectives that go beyond the headlines, the documentary sheds light on the brave gymnasts who share their stories and whose courageous efforts reveal a dangerous system that gives priority to winning over everything else.
October 22 - TAKE THE BALL, PASS THE BALL
TAKE THE BALL, PASS THE BALL is the definitive story of the best football team ever formed. For four explosive years, Pep Guardiola's Barça made up the best football team in all of history, seducing fanatics from all over the world. In this exclusive first-hand account of what happened between 2008 and 2012, players reveal the tension of the bitter rivalry between technicians Guardiola and Mourinho, the excitement of Abidal's fight against cancer to lift the European Cup and how Messi, one of the best soccer players the world has seen, was almost rejected by Barça at age 13.
October 29 - ALTERNATE ENDINGS: SIX NEW WAYS TO DIE IN AMERICA
ALTERNATE ENDINGS reveals six stories of people approaching death and relatives of recently deceased beings, who have chosen ways to reach the end and to be remembered as non-traditional. From celebrations of life and wakes, to green funerals, extraterrestrial burials and more. Profoundly intimate and illuminating, the documentary explores what it means to be close to death, whether by age or terminal illness, and captures the healing power of honoring, giving thanks and staying true to loved ones who have gone beyond.
November 5 - Two short films
This documentary follows the story of two mothers who were separated from their children in the United States for months, after fleeing danger in their home countries to seek asylum. Both mothers work with lawyers and volunteers to meet their children, who have been located thousands of miles away with little access to communication. These stories shed light on the crisis of the US-Mexico border and reveal how separated families are forced to navigate a complex system while desperately trying to reunite with their children.
TRAFFIC STOP tells the story of Breaion King, a 26-year-old African-American schoolteacher from Austin, Texas, who was arrested for a routine traffic violation that turned into a dramatic arrest. Captured by the cameras on the patrol dashboard, the images show how the officer pulled King out of her car, threw her repeatedly on the ground and handcuffed her. On the way to jail in a patrol car, she engaged in a revealing conversation with the escort officer about race and law enforcement in the United States. The documentary juxtaposes the images of the arrest with scenes from King's daily life, offering a more complete portrait of the woman trapped in this disturbing encounter.
November 12 – THE APOLLO
Directed by Academy and Emmy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams, THE APOLLO, chronicles the unique history and contemporary legacy of the New York City landmark, the Apollo Theater. The documentary weaves together archival footage, music, comedy and dance performances and behind-the-scenes images with the team that makes the theater run.
November 19 – VERY RALPH
The documentary season closes with this portrait of Ralph Lauren, who explores the life and career of one of the most successful designers of American fashion and reveals the man behind the icon. With a strange ability to turn his dreams into reality, Lauren has cultivated the iconography of the American Dream as a global lifestyle brand. Through extensive and sincere conversations, Lauren reflects on his pioneering vision, his five-decade marriage and how a Bronx boy who knew nothing about fashion design built a global, multi-million dollar empire. The film also includes intimate interviews with family, colleagues and journalists.
November 26 - BUZZ
This revealing and personal documentary follows the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and author, Buzz Bissinger, who experiences a sexual awakening while he collaborates with Caitlyn Jenner in his memoir. A true portrait of his transformative journey, the documentary is directed by his childhood friend, Andrew Shea. While working to perfect Jenner's book, Bissinger simultaneously examines his own limitations. Interlacing editing sessions between Bissinger and Jenner with personal ideas from Bissinger, BUZZ is a deeply personal film that explores the search for true freedom of expression.