The Big Sky Documentary Festival opens with HBO’s BRIGHT LIGHTS: a touching mother and daughter love story, starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.
The documentary is an intimate, heart-rendering look at their relationship, their genuine love and care for each other. We get a glimpse into Debbie’s old Hollywood training, and her determination to always remain positive in the public eye and that the “show must go on”. During the film, you see open displays of struggle and strength as Carrie battles her diagnosed bi-polar illness.
Todd Fisher, Carrie’s brother, is the producer of this film and is introduced as a “very special guest” by Rachel Gregg, Executive Director of the Big Sky Film Institute. Todd offers, very generously, a long question and answer segment after the movie. At the end of the Q&A one movie goer doesn’t have a question, but offers up her gratefulness to Todd. She thanks him for sharing their family story and coming to spend time with us during what is surely a difficult time for him.
Doc Film-goers are more than touched by Carrie and Debbie’s displays of affection
toward each other on the screen, as well as Todd’s willingness to talk openly after the film about his mother and sister. At one point during the question and answer segment, Todd commented on the two women in his life and the strength each of them embodied during their lives. He gave special mention to Carrie stating, “Even with her mental illness she went very far in her career and was very successful… she was seen as a strong female role model, women looked up to her… the word ‘can’t’ was not in our vocabulary.”
Bright Lights is a great opener to the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival leaving the audience filled with hope and love after losing two of the greatest female icons for generations young and old. This film was truly a labor of love.
NOTE: A few weeks before BRIGHTS LIGHTS premiere broadcast, both Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds died. On December 23, Carrie Fisher went into cardiac arrest and succumbed four days later, while her mother, Debbie Reynolds, had a severe stroke from which she died on the following day, December 28, 2016.