HBO Bumps Up Doc Starring Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds

By December 30, 2016

Before the passing of both Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds, the two had filmed a documentary about their life and relationship, which Fisher herself debuted at the Cannes Film Festival last May.

HBO had picked up the project, called Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, according to The Hollywood Reporter, set for a March release. But now the premium cable channel says it will debut the documentary Jan. 7, just two weeks after its two main stars died.

The documentary was directed by Alexis Bloom and Oscar-winning documentarian Fisher Stevens, best known for his Japanese abuse of dolphins documentary The Cove.

After the Cannes debut, Fisher showed the documentary at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado in September, and then at the New York Film Festival in October. Last month, Bright Lights was screened at AFI Fest, a showing that could make it eligible for Oscar recognition in the documentary category.

Rotten Tomatoes tracks just five reviews of Bright Lights from its limited run, but all were positive. Gregory Ellwood from The Playlist said the film is primarily audio of both Fisher and Reynolds talking to each other, over vintage footage of family films.

If you know anything about this iconic mother and daughter duo, it’s that any conversation between them will be smart, witty and feature a few snappy comebacks. What becomes even more apparent in Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens’ new documentary is the deep affection they have for each other. 

Granted, that wasn’t always the case to the general public.

Fisher died Dec. 27 after suffering a cardiac event four days before while flying to Los Angeles from London. Her mother, who stayed by her side at the hospital, reportedly suffered a stroke the next day and died in a Los Angeles area hospital.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael began what has become nearly 19 years of entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based out of New York City where he is the editor of a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in the Bronx.