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Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, Together for the Last Time

HBO moves airing of mother-daughter documentary from March to Jan. 7

Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds: Together for the Last Time

Fisher Family Archives/courtesy of HBO

Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds share how their individual trials and triumphs profoundly affected the other.

Following the sudden deaths of Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, on back-to-back days in late December, HBO will air a documentary about the pair’s sometimes turbulent, ultimately harmonious relationship on Saturday, Jan. 7.

The film was originally scheduled to air in March.


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Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds takes a free-form approach to its subjects, mostly asking them simply to talk about their storied lives. Reynolds recalls her days as a 1950s Hollywood starlet whose every move became tabloid fodder; Fisher revisits her very public childhood, her days as a 1970s Star Wars superstar, and her struggles with bipolar disorder and addiction.

Together, under the off-camera guidance of codirectors Alexis Bloom (PBS’s Frontline) and Fisher Stevens (The Cove), they explore how each woman’s individual trials and triumphs profoundly affected the other.

Fisher died of a massive heart attack at age 60 on Dec. 27. The next day, while planning her daughter’s funeral, Reynolds died of a stroke at age 84. The latter-day closeness of the two is heartbreakingly evident in the film as the two putter around in their two houses — situated on the same Beverly Hills estate, linked by a winding brick sidewalk.

Fretting about her mother’s fragile health, Fisher in one scene confides that she tried to talk Reynolds out of traveling to Connecticut to do a show: “But that is like throwing yourself in front of a tsunami. She’s tsu-Mommy.”

HBO’s Sheila Nevins, president for documentary and family programming, told The Hollywood Reporter she sees the film as “a testament of love.”

“The love of a mother for a child, especially an aging mother and a wounded child, is incredibly touching,” Nevins said.

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