HBO Documentary Films has acquired the U.S. television rights to HERBLOCK: THE BLACK & THE WHITE, it was announced today by Sheila Nevins, president, HBO Documentary Films. Directed by Michael Stevens (HBO’s “Thurgood”) and produced by George Stevens, Jr. (“The Thin Red Line”), the film will debut MONDAY, JAN. 27 on HBO.
HERBLOCK: THE BLACK & THE WHITE is HBO’s third collaboration with the father and son team, following the highly acclaimed Obama inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial in 2009 and the HBO Films presentation of George Stevens’ play “Thurgood,” directed by Michael Stevens, in 2011.
“Michael and I are happy that this film has found a home at HBO, where Herblock’s remarkable story will be presented to a new generation of viewers,” says George Stevens.
“This is the story of a courageous journalist who stood ready to take on the big guys on behalf of the little guy,” says Michael Stevens. “He stood for fairness and justice and was unafraid to challenge Senator Joe McCarthy, expose Nixon’s duplicity in Watergate, or attack corruption in government or the corrosive influence of money in politics.”
HERBLOCK traces the life of Herbert L. Block, who started cartooning in his teens in Chicago and went on to win four Pulitzer Prizes and the Presidential Medal of Freedom during his 55 years at the Washington Post. For the better part of the 20th century, his cartoons were a must read for those in Washington and syndicated across the country. The film features interviews with political and journalism luminaries such as Ted Koppel, David Brooks, Gwen Ifill, Tom Brokaw, Jules Feiffer, Tom Friedman and Bob Schieffer, as well as comedians Lewis Black and Jon Stewart, who describes Block as a “touchstone” for political comics and satirists today.
The documentary journeys through Block’s career as his cartoons comment on everything from World War II, the Red Scare and the fight for Civil Rights, to Vietnam and Watergate and the conflicted media world of today, concluding with an unexpected end to the journey of the cartoonist-journalist known to millions as simply Herblock.
Combined, George and Michael Stevens have received an Academy Award®, 25 Emmy® Awards, two Peabody Awards, eight Writers Guild Awards and two NAACP Image Awards. Michael Stevens has also been nominated for a Directors Guild of America Award (“Thurgood”) and a Grammy Award (for producing Bettye LaVette’s “Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook”).
HERBLOCK: THE BLACK & THE WHITE is directed by Michael Stevens; produced by George Stevens, Jr. and Michael Stevens; written by Sara Lukinson and Michael Stevens; co-producer, Sara Lukinson; music by Rob Mathes; supervising producer, Bill Urban; editor, Jake Hamilton.