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[02/16/24 - 10:00 AM]
HBO Original Documentary Trilogy "God Save Texas" Debuts February 27
Returning to their hometowns to shed light on an underrepresented story, the filmmakers chronicle the complex history of each city, exploring how it intertwines with their own provenance and evolution, and placing it in the larger picture of America today.

[via press release from HBO]

HBO Original Documentary Trilogy GOD SAVE TEXAS Debuts February 27

Three Texan Filmmakers, Richard Linklater, Alex Stapleton, And Iliana Sosa Offer Distinct Perspectives On Their Hometowns

The HBO Original documentary trilogy GOD SAVE TEXAS takes viewers on a personal and panoramic journey through one of the most controversial states in the union. Returning to their hometowns to shed light on an underrepresented story, the filmmakers chronicle the complex history of each city, exploring how it intertwines with their own provenance and evolution, and placing it in the larger picture of America today. The trilogy is inspired by the book "God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State" by Lawrence Wright.

Part One, GOD SAVE TEXAS: HOMETOWN PRISON, directed by Oscar(R) nominee Richard Linklater, debuts TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 27 (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO. Part Two, GOD SAVE TEXAS: THE PRICE OF OIL, directed by Emmy(R) winner Alex Stapleton, and Part Three, GOD SAVE TEXAS: LA FRONTERA, directed by Iliana Sosa, will debut back-to-back on WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28 (9:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT). All three parts will be available to stream on Max beginning Tuesday, February 27.

Texas is a study in contradictions - a red state that hasn't elected a Democrat to a statewide office in more than twenty years, yet a state in which minorities form a majority and whose blue cities are some of the more diverse in the nation. GOD SAVE TEXAS puts viewers on the ground with true Texans, unspooling narratives of diversity and inequalities as well as beauty within communities, specifically examining the personal toll that the prison system, oil business, and border laws have on people living in these communities. Richard Linklater, Alex Stapleton, and Iliana Sosa visit Huntsville, Houston, and El Paso, respectively, using their personal relationships with these cities to paint contemporary portraits of a state that still echoes our nation's past and warns of its possible future.

GOD SAVE TEXAS: HOMETOWN PRISON

Debut date: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 27 at 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT

Huntsville is the capital of the Texas prison colossus, with seven prisons in the area and one quarter of the town's adult population incarcerated. In his second documentary, five-time Oscar(R) nominated filmmaker Richard Linklater, whose Huntsville background has informed several of his feature films, takes on the divisive and heated issues of the penal system in his home state which upholds the death penalty despite waning popularity and where nearly 1,000 people in Huntsville alone have been legally put to death.

For many Huntsville locals, the prisons occupy another universe distinct from their own. For others, they provide much needed employment. In GOD SAVE TEXAS: HOMETOWN PRISON, Linklater chronicles the lives of everyday men and women whose lives are affected by the business of incarceration and death that looms over their town. In conversation with old friends and classmates, correctional officers and lawyers, death penalty advocates and protestors, Linklater lays bare a thorny, symbiotic existence of the town with its incarcerated, painting a multi-faceted picture of the criminal justice system in Texas.

HBO Documentary Films presents a Jigsaw Production in association with Film 44, inspired by the book by Lawrence Wright "God Save Texas: Letter from Huntsville." Directed by Richard Linklater; executive producers, Lawrence Wright, Alex Gibney, Richard Linklater, Peter Berg, Michael Lombardo, Elizabeth Rogers, Stacey Offman, Richard Perello. For HBO: executive producers, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller; senior producer, Tina Nguyen.

GOD SAVE TEXAS: THE PRICE OF OIL

Debut date: WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28 at 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT

In GOD SAVE TEXAS: THE PRICE OF OIL, Houston born and raised filmmaker Alex Stapleton turns her lens on her hometown to chronicle the impact of the Texas oil industry on Houston residents, specifically Black and disenfranchised communities, including the lives of her own family, who arrived in Texas in the 1830s as slaves and have stayed in the state for nearly 200 years.

Tracing her personal story as a descendant of slave owners, Stapleton widens her focus to show how Black history is vital to the Texas oil boom, yet has largely been left out of the history books. Despite representing 13% of the U.S. population, Black and brown people only make up 6% of the oil and gas workforce, with few in leadership positions, and historically, their neighborhoods are more likely to suffer the encroachment of refineries and chemical plants. Residents of Pleasantville, a Houston housing community developed in 1948 for Black veterans and their families, and similar "fenceline" communities risk exposure to elevated levels of toxicity and pollution.

Illustrating that environmental racism is a civil rights issue, and by giving voice to the very people who face the human cost of Texas' biggest money-maker, GOD SAVE TEXAS: THE PRICE OF OIL is a call for a long overdue reckoning.

HBO Documentary Films presents a Jigsaw Production in association with Film 44, inspired by the book by Lawrence Wright "God Save Texas: Oil." Directed by Alex Stapleton; executive producers, Lawrence Wright, Alex Gibney, Richard Linklater, Peter Berg, Michael Lombardo, Elizabeth Rogers, Stacey Offman, Richard Perello. For HBO: executive producers, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller; senior producer, Tina Nguyen.

GOD SAVE TEXAS: LA FRONTERA

Debut date: WENESDAY, FEBRUARY 28 at 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT

In her poetic exploration of El Paso, Texas, Mexican American filmmaker Iliana Sosa unveils a city woven with vibrant Mexican heritage, its essence textured by the coexistence and division along the border shared with Juárez, Mexico.

As Sosa traces the fluctuating nature of America's relationship to migrants from south of the border, she invokes the concept of "Nepantla," a Nahuatl word for a state of "in-between-ness," suggesting a frontier land with blurred edges where first-generation immigrant children straddle two cultures, navigating a complex sense of identity and belonging.

Where immigrants were once brought in as legal guest workers, border policies and Covid regulations now restrict the flow of traffic, impacting the lives of many families who live on opposite sides of the divide; recent gentrification further risks obliterating historic Mexican neighborhoods and lifestyles. In GOD SAVE TEXAS: LA FRONTERA, Sosa posits that a shared culture and a fluidity between the countries has always enriched El Paso, giving rise to a humanity and unique hybridity that allowed the city to come together and heal in the wake of the 2019 Walmart tragedy.

HBO Documentary Films presents a Jigsaw Production in association with Film 44, inspired by the book by Lawrence Wright "God Save Texas: LA Frontera." Directed by Iliana Sosa; executive producers, Lawrence Wright, Alex Gibney, Richard Linklater, Peter Berg, Michael Lombardo, Elizabeth Rogers, Stacey Offman, Richard Perello. For HBO: executive producers, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller; senior producer, Tina Nguyen.





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· GOD SAVE TEXAS (HBO)





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