HBO Documentary Films: DIANA, OUR MOTHER: HER LIFE AND LEGACY

By Jef Dinsmore on Jul 26, 2017 to Documentaries

Overview: Diana, Our Mother features interviews with HRH The Duke of Cambridge and HRH Prince Harry, both of whom talk openly about their mother and pay tribute to the many ways her influence has shaped their lives. The film offers a fresh and revealing insight into Princess Diana through the personal and intimate reflections of her two sons and her friends and family, many of whom have never spoken publicly before, to bring together a unique portrait of an iconic person who touched the lives of millions.

The 65-minute film includes never-before-seen photographs of Diana, taken from an album that she had assembled. The brothers look through the private family album and recall some of the most joyful and touching moments from their childhood.

Executive producer Nick Kent says, “This film will show Princess Diana in a way she has never been seen before, through the eyes of her sons and people who knew her best.”

 

Expectations: Now I’m not, nor ever have been, an Anglophile or a follower of European royalty. I don’t follow what they do because I’m just not of that sovereignty. Thus, I would not be delighted to have to cover a documentary about them, except perhaps Princess Diana. So here I am and here we go. First, the trailer and then the 70-minute film and then my reaction.

 

Gut Reaction: Since I never was a fan of the royals of Britain I was never glued to the TV set over the romance, marriage and life of Princess Diana. I certainly knew who she was; the whole world knew who she was. I could, however, understand how people were infatuated with her and followed her every move. She was beautiful, charismatic, radiant, compassionate, witty and by all appearances a well-rounded soul. But still, I just wasn’t that into it

Quite bluntly, the only way I’d be really drawn into her story was by the exact way this documentary handles it – through the words of her sons. The Duke & the Prince reflecting on her as their mother proved quite meaningful, even to someone like me. And some wonderful & surprising moments were revealed. It is of the mother that society rarely saw, but of course, they witnessed daily. The fun, the pranks and the outings are fond memories that they hold.

But the film reveals other truths as well that aren’t so wonderful. They both recall the last time they spoke to their mother. It was a rushed phone conversation as they passed the phone between them for a brisk chat with Mom. Regrets that they hold still. They also hold in grief as they express, especially Prince Harry, that they held it in in public and are still waiting to let it out twenty years later. Impactful words indeed.

The documentary is not just about the reminiscences her children have for her but also, via news footage and home movies, tells her life story as well. There were glimpses of her childhood, her royal wedding and the causes and humanitarian efforts she championed. Those who were a part of her life in those times also speak of her fondly.

 

In Conclusion: It all in all was a nice homage to the woman the world adored and her children loved deeply. Princess Diana’s sons were very kind indeed to allow the camera to capture their deepest feelings and thoughts. They certainly should be proud of who she was and can be proud of how they handled themselves in sharing her life and their loss.   

 

Next: Debuting 08.07 is BRILLO BOX (3¢ OFF): Blending Pop Art history and personal narrative, this documentary tells a universal tale about navigating the ephemeral nature of art and value. The film follows the surprising trajectory of a beloved Andy Warhol Brillo Box sculpture.  

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