Next Wednesday, December 12th, Oscar-winning director Freida Lee Mock’s Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner airs on POV at 9 PM (check your local listings).

A smiling Tony Kushner from Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner by Freida Lee Mock

If you don’t know Tony Kushner and his work in the theater, here’s your opportunity to meet the man who has been called “the most charming dissident around.” Since the breakthrough of his epic play Angels in America — subsequently made into a hit miniseries — in the early 1990s, Kushner has emerged as one of America’s leading playwrights. Kushner’s award-winning, ambitious plays tackle issues like AIDS, race and terrorism with sensitivity and humor, and they challenge us to engage with the moral and political issues of our times. In Wrestling with Angels, Mock follows Kushner for three tumultuous years, from September 11, 2001, up to the 2004 presidential election, to delve into the passions that keep him reaching for the great American play.

Watch a trailer for the film:

POV’s companion website for Wrestling with Angels launched this week, and we hope the content on the website will help you learn more about both Tony Kushner and filmmaker Freida Lee Mock. You can watch longer video clips of a 2002 graduation speech Kushner gave at Vassar College, a 2004 New York TimesTalk panel that Kushner participated in with former New York Times theater critic Frank Rich, and fellow playwrights Larry Kramer, Paul Rudner and Terrence McNally, and a 2002 conversation he had with drama students at Northwestern University. Explore the Behind the Lens section to find out how Mock persuaded Kushner to step in front of the camera. And if that still isn’t enough Kushner for you, you can find articles about him and by him in the resources section of the site.

Later this month, Freida Lee Mock will answer questions from viewers about Wrestling with Angels and her other films on this blog. Ask her a question and she’ll answer her favorites the week of December 17th!

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Former POVer Ruiyan Xu worked on developing and producing materials for POV's website. Before coming to POV, she worked in the Interactive and Broadband department at Channel Thirteen/WNET. Ruiyan was born in Shanghai and graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Modern Culture and Media.