REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG is an intimate and nuanced investigation into the life of one of the most influential and provocative thinkers of the 20th century. Passionate and gracefully outspoken throughout her career, Susan Sontag became one of the most important literary, political and feminist icons of her generation. The documentary explores Sontag’s life through evocative experimental images, archival materials, accounts from friends, family, colleagues, and lovers, as well as her own words, read by actress Patricia Clarkson. From her early infatuation with books and her first experience in a gay bar; from her marriage in adolescence to her last lover, REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG is a fascinating look at a towering cultural critic and writer whose works on photography, war, illness, and terrorism still resonate today. More than any other thinker of her day, Sontag was watched, viewed, photographed and stared at. She was gazed at, and she looked back, very carefully, particularly at language and metaphor and at photography and what she called “the ecology of images.” REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG gives viewers the chance to watch Sontag while she examines the world. REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG has been made in partnership with HBO Documentary Films and will be broadcast beginning on December 8th on HBO, HBOGO and HBO ON DEMAND.
THE FILMMAKER: Nancy Kates is a filmmaker and writer based in Berkeley, California. She co-produced and directed Brother Outsider: the Life of Bayard Rustinwith New York filmmaker Bennett Singer. Brother Outsider premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, with a national broadcast on the PBS program P.O.V. The film received numerous awards, including the 2004 GLAAD Media Award, and audience awards at the major American gay and lesbian film festivals. It also received the award for best feature film at New York’s New Festival and a number of jury prizes. Kates is a former producer of Computer Chronicles, the PBS series, and has worked as a producer, writer, and story consultant on various documentary projects. She also speaks frequently at schools, colleges and universities. Kates is a graduate of Stanford’s documentary film and television program; her M.A. thesis project, Their Own Vietnam, received the 1995 Student Academy Award in Documentary. She worked as a journalist in New York and Boston before turning to film.