HBO Docs Update: The Latest about Sam Berns; Pussy Riot and TROPHY KIDS

By Jef Dinsmore on Jan 15, 2014 to Documentaries

Doc_Header

This is a unique post. I have never followed up on a documentary after its debut but as of late some news has surfaced related to films we have covered. The most meaningful update comes first:

LIFE ACCORDING TO SAM’s Sam Berns has died.  

People_SamBernsOn Friday, 01.10.14 the young man of seventeen succumbed from complications due to the rapid aging disease Progeria.  The Progeria Research Foundation, founded by Sam parents and his aunt, issued a simple statement upon his death. It reminded us that the average age expectancy for someone with the disease is only thirteen so, as you can see, Sam lived above and beyond. 

It is also evident in the documentary about his childhood, prognosis, progress and life that he indeed lived above and beyond. All became aware of this young man through his documentary and many an outlet has since reported on his journey and its end. This writer would like to single out one such report from a local CBS affiliate from Sam’s hometown of Foxboro, Massachusetts. It explains via text and a news clip what this young man meant to his neighbors including the Boston Bruins, The Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. Here is that link. 

Pussy Riot, seen in the documentary PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK PRAYER was back in the news in December. The two ladies from the music collective People_PussyRiotwho ended up being jailed have been released. As the documentary told us the performers were arrested in 2012 and sentenced for two years in jail. Their incarceration should not have ended until March of this year. So why were they released early?

 Well, in continued controversial fashion Vladimir Putin granted Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and of Nizhny Novgorod freedom from the two separate prisons they were detained in an attempt to save face going into the Sochi Olympic Games. A number of other detainees were released as well. Tolokonnikova stated – “I think this is an attempt to improve the image of the current government, a little, before the Sochi Olympics, particularly for the Western Europeans.” “But I don’t consider this humane or merciful.” Many critics concur that that indeed was his intent.

Of Pussy Riot President Putin said “”I feel sorry for Pussy Riot not for the fact that they were jailed, but for disgraceful behavior that has degraded the image of women.” I am sure the world will hear more Pussy Riot.

HBOWatch has discovered some news about a couple of parents and their athletic children seen in STATE OF PLAY: TROPHY KIDS.

 Our most interesting finding comes our way from  Lisa Goodman Stone who is the creator and writer of ParentingAces.com. It is a site for parents with athletic youth at home. She commented on our postings about the film and in turn HBOWatch visited her site. One of her postings TrophyKids_updatewas also about TROPHY KIDS and she has some intel on Andre and his daughter Amari worth sharing.   

Here are some highlights from her postings with her permission:

I later found a review of the show online at HBOWatch and posted a comment asking for those who had seen the show to contact me. Much to my surprise, I got an email from Andre, the father of 7-year-old golfer Amari who had been profiled in the film, and had an opportunity to speak with him at length on the phone. Andre asked me what I thought after seeing him on tv….I told him that my heart hurt for his little girl, especially when the film showed her on the ground crying while her dad was cursing at her after a missed putt….After hearing that Andre was ashamed by his behavior in the film and that he has taken very deliberate steps to be more loving and supportive toward his daughter… I assured him that his willingness to show his true self in the film was sending positive ripples into the world as other parents watched and saw facets of themselves that needed to change. In an email, Andre wrote, “I believe [if] the doc could help some junior parent see how they act towards their kid then it has served its purpose, and that person it helped was me. I see the error in my ways and have been changing towards the better, but I have always said that the parent should grow with the child, be more communicative towards the child and explain things in a much lighter fashion, listen to the child as they too should have input in their respective sport.”

To read the whole entry please visit her site, ParentingAces.com, and feel free to comment afterwards. One other set of participants in the film was football player Justis and his father. That seemed to be a rather volatile relationship and if you watch the extended play version of the documentary on HBOGo you will learn that Justis no longer lives with his father. Both of those updates should make some viewers of that film happy and we are happy we could link with Lisa for her input.

People_RodmanandJongLastly, and quickly if you remember  VICE: The Hermit Kingdom than you remember that Dennis Rodman was a part of the contingent that went to North Korea for some “basketball diplomacy” and he still visits his good friend  Kim Jong-un. He was in attendance recently to celebrate the dictator’s birthday and the U. S. is not to happy about it. When he returned home he apologized. Here is a clip and post from CNN explaining the incident in more detail.

HBOWatch will be back with updates like this if they are warranted or feel free to send us information regarding HBO Documentary films you have seen. All of the documentaries reported on here can be found on HBOGo. Thanks for reading.

  • Great reporting on The Trophy Kids piece as well. I’m glad other writers were able to connect with some of the adults in the show for a positive impact.

  • RIP Sam. You touched many.

  • Chris McIntyre

    So sad Sam was such a strong kid I just watched this documentary a few days ago and It is so sad they cant find a cure for this disease










Find an HBO Series





More HBO

Subscribe to HBO
Countries HBO Is In
Watch Game of Thrones Online
Watch The Leftovers Online
Watch Silicon Valley Online
HBO Premiere & Air Dates
True Detective Streaming
Other Streaming Television
HBO Boxing Live Stream
Game of Thrones on DVD & Blu-Ray
Watch Cinemax Online