The Washington Post

‘HERBLOCK’ FILM: ‘Black & the White’ docu lands deal, airdates with HBO

IN JUNE, when a Herblock documentary made its D.C. debut at the AFI Docus Film Fest at the Newseum, Comic Riffs called the project “an elegant and clear-eyed film that provides an inspiring portrait.”

Now, HBO has shown the clear-eyed vision to acquire the film’s U.S. television rights.

Sheila Nevins, the head of HBO Documentary Films, announces today that they’ve acquired the American TV rights to “Herblock: The Black & the White,” which was created by the father-son team of producer George Stevens Jr. and Michael Stevens.

“Herblock” will make its HBO debut on Jan. 27.

HBO previously worked with Team Stevens on 2009’s Obama inaugural concert special and 2011’s “Thurgood.”

Longtime Post political cartoonist Herblock. (Herbert L. Block Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress /. )

Through fluid storytelling, “The Black & the White” explores the man and canvas; through news clips and vintage footage, dramatic re-creation and scores of one-on-one interviews, the film effectively alternates between the politics and headlines of each era (McCarthyism, civil rights, Watergate) and Herbert Block’s personal rhythms and newsroom anecdotes.

[SALUTING HERBLOCK: An open note to ‘The Black & the White’ filmmakers: Send in the satirists]

The tribute to the multiple Pulitzer winner features on-camera time with a range of satirists, politicians, pundits and journalists — including more than a couple of his colleagues from The Post.

[HERBLOCK TRIBUTE: Remembering the legend a decade after his death]

Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.

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