Gordon Parks Documentary ‘A Choice of Weapons’ on HBO Nov. 15

A Choice of Weapons: Inspired by Gordon Parks
Gordon Parks (Image credit: The Gordon Parks Foundation/Courtesy HBO)

HBO premieres the documentary A Choice of Weapons: Inspired by Gordon Parks, about the photographer and filmmaker, Monday, Nov. 15. John Maggio directed the documentary and Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean and Alicia Keys are among the executive producers. 

Parks was the first Black photographer at Life Magazine. 

“For decades, Gordon Parks brought the human struggle for dignity, justice and the alienation of the Black community out of the shadows and to middle America on the pages of Life Magazine from 1948 to 1972,” said HBO. 

Parks’ camera “became an instrument of change — ‘a weapon’ as he called it -- to challenge the systems of racism and poverty — and to empower Black Americans with images that conveyed honor, resilience and beauty.”

Those weighing in on Parks’s work and influence in the documentary include The New Yorker staff writer Jelani Cobb, Anderson Cooper, Ava DuVernay, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Spike Lee. 

Parks directed the films The Learning Tree and Shaft. He died in 2006. 

Besides Dean and Keys, executive producers on the film include Jelani Cobb, Jacqueline Glover, Peter W. Kunhardt Jr. and Peter Kunhardt, along with Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller from HBO. 

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.