HBO Documentary Films Summer Series Opens With a ‘Pussy Riot’ and Much More to Come

Pussy Riot

Too hot to leave the house? Need to catch up some docs you missed during the last run of film festivals? Just don’t want to get off the couch? It’s okay, HBO will reward your laziness with their own mini-film festival, one that plays in the comfort of your own home and within the confines of your own television screen.

HBO Documentary Films Summer Series returns for another round of hot (forgive the summer puns, please) programming, featuring eleven documentaries that truly run the gamut of available non-fiction cinema. The series kicked off last night with the HBO debut of Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovin’s still shockingly relevant Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer. The Sundance premiere investigates Russia’s most notorious punk band, Pussy Riot, and their ceaseless desire to challenge the status quo (and their very government) that have landed them in jail and turned them into modern day free speech crusaders.

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer is far from the only feature plucked from high profile festivals around the world, as the series also includes films that have shown at the Seattle International Film Festival, the upcoming Los Angeles Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the Tribeca Film Festival. The subject matters addressed in the series include classic Hollywood starlets, unexpected beauty queens, public defenders, horrific murders, single moms looking for love, and even a couple of already-lauded features like Gasland Part II and The Crash Reel. It may be a cliche, but this series really does offer something for everyone. And – again – you don’t have to even get off your butt to check it out. After the break, check out the full list of offerings from the HBO Documentary Films Summer Series. Hey, couch potato.

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer
Debuted on Monday, June 10th at 9PM
Other HBO play dates include June 13th (3:45PM, 1:05AM), 16th (2:15PM), 18th (10:30AM), and 22nd (4:45PM)

Winner of the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Punk Spirit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer provides an intimate look at the girls in the band, along with exclusive interviews and courtroom footage. Punctuated by high energy performances and mind-melting mockeries of justice, it’s a must-watch.

Love, Marilyn
Debuts Monday, June 17th at 9PM

Marilyn Monroe’s personal papers, diaries, and letters are read on camera by a pack of some Hollywood’s most well-known talents, “embellished by” a whole mess of footage, photos, and recordings. The film traces Monroe’s life from her childhood through her career to her death at age 36.

Miss You Can Do It
Debuts on Monday, June 24th at 9PM

Suffering from cerebral palsy didn’t stop Abbey Curran from competing in the Miss USA Pageant in 2008, and the beauty queen has made it her life’s work to create a pageant that celebrates all young girls, no matter their challenges.

The OUT List
Debuts Thursday, June 27th at 9:30PM

Featuring a mess of well-known gay entertainers and leaders, The OUT List illuminates what it means to be gay (and known) in America now.

Gideon’s Army
Debuts Monday, July 1st at 9PM

Gideon’s Army centers on three young (and idealistic) lawyers in the South, following them through some of their most crucial cases.

Gasland Part II
Debuts Monday, July 8th at 9PM

Josh Fox returns to take a look at the long-term impact of fracking, turning his eye to global implications.

The Crash Reel
Debuts Monday, July 15th at 9PM

The story of 22-year-old professional snowboarder Kevin Pearce and his recovery from his Traumatic Brain Injury is chronicled, but it’s the bond Pearce has with his incredible family and fanbase that set The Crash Reel apart (also, it will make you cry, like a lot).

The Cheshire Murders
Debuts Monday, July 22nd at 9PM

The Cheshire Murders goes inside the shocking triple rape-arson-homicide that upended the quiet town of Cheshire, CT back in July of 2007. The film chronicles the entire incident and investigation, all leading up to an explosive death penalty trial.

First Comes Love
Debuts Monday, July 29th at 9PM

Filmmaker Nina Davenport has always wanted to be a mom and, despite her single status, decides to dive right in with a sperm donor and IVF-aided pregnancy. Sound hard enough already? You can’t even imagine just how hard, as Nina has to deal with an unsupportive dad, a birth partner who really takes over, and a long distance relationship, amongst other disasters.

Casting By
Debuts Monday, August 5th at 9PM

Ever want to know just what exactly a casting director does? Meet Casting By!

Americans In Bed
Debuts Monday, August 12th at 9PM

What’s the best way to get people to talk about their lives in bed? Get them to talk about their lives, in bed.

Check out more about the HBO Documentary Films Summer Series over at its official site.

Kate is an entertainment and culture writer and editor living in New York City. She is also a contributing writer for VanityFair.com, Cosmopolitan.com, RollingStone.com, Vulture, MTV.com, Details.com, The Dissolve, Screen Crush, New York Daily News, Mental Floss, and amNY. Her previous work can also be found at MSN Movies, Boxoffice Magazine, and Film.com. She lives her life like a French movie, Steve.

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