Raising Renee: Artist Beverly McIver and her promise to take care of her mentally disabled sister

From HBO Documentaries:

RAISING RENEE begins in 2003 as Beverly McIver is savoring opening night of her first solo art show in New York. A talented painter and winner of major awards, her career was skyrocketing. She flew in her mother Ethel, a maid from Greensboro, North Carolina and her sister Renee, 43, who is mentally disabled and functions at about the level of a third grader. Years before, Beverly had casually promised her mother that she would take Renee when Ethel died, an event that seemed infinitely far off and unlikely to impinge on her life as a single woman, painting and teaching where her work took her.

But in 2004, Ethel died suddenly and Beverly’s promise was put to the test. RAISING RENEE is the story of a family’s remarkable response to being broken apart and rearranged after nearly 50 years. The film explores themes of family, race, class and disability through the interplay of painting, cinema and everyday life. Produced and directed by Jeanne Jordan and Steven Ascher, RAISING RENEE is the third part in a trilogy about resilient families that includes their acclaimed feature documentaries SO MUCH SO FAST and the Oscar-nominated, Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner TROUBLESOME CREEK: A MIDWESTERN.

Raising Renee will air February 22 on HBO2. For more information, or to view the trailer, visit westcityfilms.com/raising_renee.html.


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