Norman Lear – Directors, Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing

Do you remember All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons, Fernwood Tonight, Mary Hartman among many many other classic TV shows? If you do and you loved them then you will love this movie about the genius who created them all. Norma Lear is now 93 years old and long retired but still as active and vigorous as ever. This documentary was special as it follows the career of a man who pushed the boundaries of what television could do and opened it to political and social issues long felt to be taboo for broadcast TV. Interviews with Jon Stewart, George Clooney and Rob Reiner are interspersed with clips from his more memorable programs to give you insight into one of the most creative minds in broadcasting. Now 93 he still gives generously of his time. The interviews he does for the movie are great but the real thrill, and why I go to festivals like this, was his presence by Skype for a Q and A after the film. Unlike Werner Herzog who couldn’t be bothered to hang around to talk to audiences because he is just too important (sorry I had to get that dig in) Lear gave generously of his time and answered the audience questions with wit and wisdom. A great time was had by all.