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HBO’s documentary lineup explores U.S. history, crime and civil-rights activism

"The Art of Political Murder" tells the story of the 1998 murder of Guatemalan human rights activist Bishop Juan Gerardi.
"The Art of Political Murder" tells the story of the 1998 murder of Guatemalan human rights activist Bishop Juan Gerardi. (Image credit: HBO)

HBO has released a full lineup of original documentary films and series it will be releasing before the end of 2020.

First on the schedule is Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn. Debuting at 9 p.m. Eastern on Aug. 12, the film directed by Muta’Ali tells the story of a black teen who was shot to death in 1989 as part of an incident involving a group of young white men harassing black men they believed were dating girls in their primarily Italian-American Brooklyn neighborhood. Despite police efforts to keep the incident quiet, the killing became the subject of marches led by Reverend Al Sharpton and had a significant impact on the city’s politics.

Also releasing this month is The Vow, a series about the self-improvement group NXIVM and the people who joined it. NXIVM’s founder Keith Raniere was convicted of sex trafficking of children and conspiracy to commit forced labor last year as part of a group operating within NXIVM called The Vow, where women were branded and treated as slaves. The series is directed by Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, who previously worked together on the Academy Award-nominated documentary The Square. HBO released the first teaser trailer for the show on July 30.

Hamilton fans can get to know Lin-Manuel Miranda’s father Luis A. Miranda Jr. in Siempre, Luis. The film covers how Miranda moved from Puerto Rico to New York, became a political consultant, and worked to help his home island recover from Hurricane Maria.

"Crazy, Not Insane" profiles forensic psychiatrist Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis, who has spent her life investigating the interior lives of violent people.

"Crazy, Not Insane" profiles forensic psychiatrist Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis, who has spent her life investigating the interior lives of violent people. (Image credit: HBO)

In November, HBO will be releasing a different crime-focused documentary film each week. The titles are:

Crazy, Not Insane, a profile of forensic psychiatrist Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis focusing on her work with patients with Dissociative Identity Disorder. The film is directed by Academy Award winner Alex Gibney.

Baby God, which explores the legacy of Dr. Quincy Fortier, a fertility doctor who used his own sperm to impregnate many of his patients.

The Mystery of DB Cooper, which examines the only unsolved airplane hijacking case in U.S. history.

Alabama Snake, the story of a Pentecostal minister and snake handler accused of trying to use a rattlesnake to kill his wife.

The Art of Political Murder, an adaptation of Francisco Goldman’s book about the murder of Guatemalan human rights activist Bishop Juan Gerardi.

Avery, from "Transhood," which follows four young people and their families as they navigate growing up transgender in America’s heartland.

Avery, from "Transhood," which follows four young people and their families as they navigate growing up transgender in America’s heartland. (Image credit: HBO)

Also debuting this fall is Transhood, a chronicle of four transgender youths growing up in Kansas City that was filmed over the course of five years, and The Soul of America, an adaptation of Jon Meacham’s 2018 book that examines some of the country’s greatest historical challenges to better understand today’s politics.