Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner

Director: Freida Lee Mock
Screenwriters: Freida Lee Mock

Institute History

  • 2006 Sundance Film Festival


One of our greatest living playwrights, Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Tony Kushner (Angels in America) is a consummate artist and indomitable political activist committed to equality and social justice. A Jewish homosexual raised in the heart of the Deep South, Kushner has become a compassionate voice for outsiders in a climate of repression and censorship. Wrestling with Angels covers three years of Kushner's life from 9/11 to the 2004 presidential election, capturing the fierce moral responsibility that pervades this passionate artist's work.

Perhaps the greatest compliment to Freida Lee Mock's film is that she does justice to her brilliant subject, entwining interviews with leading theatre artists and personal moments from Kushner's life with scenes from his plays. Watching Marcia Gay Harden as Laura Bush in a scene from one of Kushner's lesser-known plays is worth the price of admission itself. Hearing Meryl Streep read a prayer that Kushner wrote asking—no, demanding—God to cure AIDS will tear your heart out.

Fiercely political, deeply personal, incredibly intelligent, funny, poignant, hopeful, and immensely spiritual, Kushner's work is a bright shining light. Like Tony Kushner himself, Mock's film about him is a multifaceted gem that sparkles as it enlightens on so many levels.

— David Courier

Screening Details


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