[01/13/05 - 12:00 AM]
Cinemax Sets Diverse Lineup of Cinemax Reel Life Documentaries for the First Half of 2005

[via press release from Cinemax]


-------- Presentations include Liz Garbus' XIARA'S SONG, Joe Berlinger's GRAY MATTER, SISTER ROSE'S PASSION And THE CHILDREN OF LENINGRADSKY --------

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 13, 2005 - Top documentary filmmakers will explore a wide range of timely issues in CINEMAX Reel Life presentations during the first half of 2005. From Liz Garbus ("The Farm: Angola") comes XIARA'S SONG, the story of a young girl's struggle to stay connected to her imprisoned father; in GRAY MATTER, Joe Berlinger (HBO's "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills") searches for Dr. Heinrich Gross, a former Nazi, and the alleged murderer of over 800 children "euthanized" in a Vienna hospital during World War II. Among the other documentaries are SISTER ROSE'S PASSION, the story of a nun's tireless crusade against anti-Semitism, and THE CHILDREN OF LENINGRADSKY, a look at the thousands of homeless children who live in Moscow's train stations.

Upcoming CINEMAX Reel Life documentaries include:

LOVING & CHEATING (debuts Feb. 14), which debuts on Valentine's Day, explores conflicting views on commitment and infidelity, touching on universal issues that are rarely discussed so frankly. A former male stripper and his wife discuss the effects of their mutual affairs; a young engaged couple confront their differing views on cheating; a Baptist minister and his wife reflect on the success of their 50-year marriage; and a middle-aged couple who call themselves "poly-amorous" explain how they opened up their marriage. Directed by Thom Powers.

A DOG'S LIFE: A DOGAMENTARY (March 15), a humorous and poignant portrait of a dog's life in New York City, exploring the positive effects of the intense bond between dogs and humans. Told through the eyes of director Gayle Kirschenbaum's Shih Tzu, Chelsea, who sports a "doggiecam," the film examines Chelsea's role in her owner's life, and how it touches others when Chelsea is certified as a therapy dog after 9/11, offering comfort and companionship to humans in distress. Directed by Gayle Kirschenbaum.

THE POWER OF GOOD (April) tells the story of Englishman Nicholas Winton, who saved the lives of 669 children, most of them Jewish, from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, bringing them across Hitler's Germany to his native Britain. For nearly 50 years, he did not tell anyone about his extraordinary rescue mission -- not even his wife. The story surfaced in 1988 when the BBC broadcast a show about the first meeting of approximately 100 of the rescued children with their "secret" rescuer. Today, there are more than 5,000 descendants of the Winton children. Directed by Matej Minac.

GRAY MATTER (April) attempts to track down Dr. Heinrich Gross, a former Nazi who rose to prominence after the war as Vienna's leading forensic psychiatrist. In April 2002, a funeral was held to bury the brains of more than 800 children "euthanized" in a Vienna hospital - allegedly by Dr. Gross -- during World War II. The search for Dr. Gross, now 86 and living as a free man in Austria, explores the difficulties of coming to grips with a society's past. Directed by Joe Berlinger.

SISTER ROSE'S PASSION (May) is a portrait of Rose Thering, who, as a Catholic girl growing up in America's heartland, read in her religion books that Jesus was killed by the Jews. When she joined the sisterhood, Sister Rose began to examine why so few in her religion had responded to the plight of the Jews during the Holocaust. Subsequently challenging the doctrine that blamed Jews for the death of Jesus, she took a leading role in Vatican II, which officially changed the Catholic Church's position on their relationship with Jewish people. This documentary follows Sister Rose today, at age 84, as she continues her crusade against anti-Semitism. Directed by Oren Jacoby.

THE CHILDREN OF LENINGRADSKY (June) explores the plight of the more than 30,000 homeless children who live in Moscow's train stations. Sleeping in stairways, garbage containers and underground tunnels, they panhandle or prostitute themselves for money, and sniff glue to curb hunger and to escape the violent world around them. Still, many of them consider life on the streets preferable to what they experienced at home. Directed by Hanna Polak & Andrzej Celinski.

XIARA'S SONG (June) documents a young girl's struggle to stay connected to her father through their mutual love of music, and a mother's battle to keep her daughter from following in her father's dangerous footsteps. Seven-year-old Xiara's father Harold has been in and out of jail throughout her life, and his current sentence will keep him locked up until she's 17. Combining present-day footage with home movies to explore a father-daughter relationship under extraordinary circumstances, this is a moving portrait of one of the ten million American children with a parent in prison. Produced and directed by Liz Garbus; produced by Rory Kennedy.

  [january 2005]  

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