Coming Up on POV – ‘Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner’

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Next Wednesday, December 12th, Oscar-winning director Freida Lee Mock’s Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner airs on POV at 9 PM (check your local listings).

A smiling Tony Kushner from Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner by Freida Lee Mock

If you don’t know Tony Kushner and his work in the theater, here’s your opportunity to meet the man who has been called “the most charming dissident around.” Since the breakthrough of his epic play Angels in America — subsequently made into a hit miniseries — in the early 1990s, Kushner has emerged as one of America’s leading playwrights. Kushner’s award-winning, ambitious plays tackle issues like AIDS, race and terrorism with sensitivity and humor, and they challenge us to engage with the moral and political issues of our times. In Wrestling with Angels, Mock follows Kushner for three tumultuous years, from September 11, 2001, up to the 2004 presidential election, to delve into the passions that keep him reaching for the great American play.

Watch a trailer for the film:

POV’s companion website for Wrestling with Angels launched this week, and we hope the content on the website will help you learn more about both Tony Kushner and filmmaker Freida Lee Mock. You can watch longer video clips of a 2002 graduation speech Kushner gave at Vassar College, a 2004 New York TimesTalk panel that Kushner participated in with former New York Times theater critic Frank Rich, and fellow playwrights Larry Kramer, Paul Rudner and Terrence McNally, and a 2002 conversation he had with drama students at Northwestern University. Explore the Behind the Lens section to find out how Mock persuaded Kushner to step in front of the camera. And if that still isn’t enough Kushner for you, you can find articles about him and by him in the resources section of the site.

Later this month, Freida Lee Mock will answer questions from viewers about Wrestling with Angels and her other films on this blog. Ask her a question and she’ll answer her favorites the week of December 17th!

Ruiyan Xu
Ruiyan Xu
Former POVer Ruiyan Xu worked on developing and producing materials for POV's website. Before coming to POV, she worked in the Interactive and Broadband department at Channel Thirteen/WNET. Ruiyan was born in Shanghai and graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Modern Culture and Media.
  • Doc Soup Man

    Thanks for your comment but I believe you’re incorrect. Do you know how much pharma spends on research and development? A small fraction of its budget. Do you know how much of its research and development is actually financed by the government (the taxpayers)? It’s astounding. YOU have got to see this doc. It may change the way you see things.

  • nwmhqqty

    Yeah, it’s not the whole budget, but it will still get squeezed if the budget shrinks. I know the marketing departments are out of whack but the R&D will shrink if the entire pie shrinks. That’s just how it works.

  • Marley

    Not only is R&D not the whole budget, it’s actually only about 12-18% of pharmaceutical company budgets depending on the estimates you look at. Furthermore, many of the most novel and innovative drugs that address previously unmet health needs actually have their birthplace in universities and federal research institutions like the NIH. Pharma spends most of its R & D money on “me too” drugs. Much as they would have us all believe that cutting their profits would reduce innovation, that argument holds very little water when we take a closer look at the numbers (and furthermore downplays human ingenuity, curiosity, and desire to solve problems and innovate regardless of the mighty dollar).