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Filmmaker Tells the Story of her Grandfather, Late Barry Goldwater

Filmmaker CC Goldwater, tells the story of her late grandfather Barry Goldwater, the Arizona senator and one-time candidate for president through a documentary to air on HBO.

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    Barry Goldwater lived a very long and often controversial public life. He served five terms as a Republican senator from Arizona. He lost a landslide presidential election to Lyndon Johnson in 1964. He help define conservativism and, in the process, helped reshape American politics.

    A very personal take on that life is authored in a documentary film that will air tonight on HBO. One of the filmmakers knew him well as a grandfather. She is C.C. Goldwater, and she joins us now from New York.

    You start this film with that very famous political ad from 1964 of a little girl picking flowers and the atomic bomb goes off. And you say right away that the man who was the target of that ad was your grandfather. So, from the start, this was very personal for you.

  • Tell us:

    What were you trying to do in this film?

    C.C. GOLDWATER, Granddaughter of Barry Goldwater: I think that opening segment really speaks for itself, in terms we wanted to show all of the horrific images of Barry Goldwater, from the daisy commercial, to the KKK. I mean, all those visuals you get right upfront is what everybody's perception was of Barry Goldwater.

    And I wanted to show this really private, personal side of him so that people could really see the guy in terms of a full person, not just the sound bite that you got where he would say something a little off-color or a little controversial, but really show you the man, as a family man, as a photographer, as an aviator, just, you know, really, a full picture of Barry Goldwater, rather than just what we knew him as or what he was stigmatized as.


    So how did you go about doing it? How did you make this film?


    Well, I went to HBO, and I was able to work with their documentary division, and Sheila Nevins was my executive producer with me on this project. And I had originally — they told me I needed to go put together a promo and kind of show Barry Goldwater as what he really — what their audience would really like.

    Because originally they were like, "We don't get the, you know, HBO-Goldwater. It's not an obvious fit." So I went back, and I was able to edit. I have a production partner named Tani Cohen, and she and I put together a 15-minute promo piece that really showed Barry on all sides. It showed the personal side; it showed the political side; it showed his comments on the civil rights, all the things that are really the hot buttons of Barry Goldwater.

    And then I went back to them. I showed them the film. They loved the idea. They thought that he also a very multifaceted person. And it was real different than what they really knew. And they green lit the project, and gave us the go-ahead, and we immediately starting filming production, and filmed it, you know, shot it and did all the interviews in 12 months, and edit it, got it all done, and now it's going to be on the air tonight.