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Courtesy of HBO
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HBO has released the official trailer for the forthcoming documentary trilogy, “God Save Texas.” 

About ‘God Save Texas’ 

The HBO Original documentary trilogy, “God Save Texas,” offers viewers a personal and panoramic voyage through one of America’s most contentious states.

Returning to their hometowns to illuminate overlooked narratives, filmmakers Richard Linklater, Alex Stapleton, and Iliana Sosa trace the intricate history of each city, delving into its connection to their own origins and growth while contextualizing it within the broader landscape of contemporary America.

Inspired by Lawrence Wright‘s book “God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State,” this trilogy provides a compelling exploration of Texas’ multifaceted identity.

Hometown Prison

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Courtesy of HBO

Huntsville stands as the epicenter of the Texas prison complex, boasting seven correctional facilities and a staggering one-quarter of the town’s adult population behind bars.

Renowned filmmaker Richard Linklater, a five-time Oscar® nominee with deep roots in Huntsville influencing many of his feature films, delves into the contentious issues of the penal system in his home state.

Despite declining support, Texas maintains the death penalty, with Huntsville witnessing the legal execution of nearly 1,000 individuals.

For many residents, the prisons exist in a separate universe, while for others, they offer essential employment opportunities.

In his documentary, “God Save Texas: Hometown Prison,” Linklater captures the lives of ordinary individuals affected by the incarceration and death industries that dominate their community.

Through conversations with locals, correctional officers, lawyers, and advocates on both sides of the death penalty debate, Linklater unveils the complex relationship between the town and its incarcerated population, presenting a nuanced portrait of the Texas criminal justice system.

The Price Of Oil 

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Courtesy of HBO

In “God Save Texas: The Price Of Oil,” Houston native filmmaker Alex Stapleton directs her focus on her hometown, shedding light on the profound impact of the Texas oil industry on its residents, particularly within Black and marginalized communities.

Stapleton, whose own family has deep roots in Texas dating back to the 1830s as slaves, offers a deeply personal narrative intertwined with the broader story of Black history’s integral role in the Texas oil boom, often overlooked in mainstream narratives.

Tracing her lineage as a descendant of slave owners, Stapleton unveils the significant contributions of Black individuals to the oil industry while highlighting the systemic barriers they face.

Despite comprising 13% of the U.S. population, Black and brown communities represent only 6% of the oil and gas workforce, with limited access to leadership roles.

Additionally, historically, their neighborhoods bear the brunt of refinery and chemical plant encroachment, exacerbating environmental hazards.

Pleasantville, a housing community established in 1948 for Black veterans and their families, exemplifies the plight of “fenceline” communities disproportionately affected by pollution and toxicity.

By amplifying the voices of those directly impacted by the environmental injustices perpetuated by Texas’ lucrative oil industry, “God Save Texas: The Price of Oil” serves as a poignant reminder that environmental racism is a pressing civil rights issue, calling for overdue accountability and systemic change.

La Frontera

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Courtesy of HBO

In her poetic portrayal of El Paso, Texas, Mexican American filmmaker Iliana Sosa reveals a city steeped in vibrant Mexican heritage, its essence intricately woven with the coexistence and division along the border shared with Juárez, Mexico.

As Sosa delves into America’s evolving relationship with migrants from south of the border, she invokes the concept of “Nepantla,” a Nahuatl term signifying a state of “in-between-ness.”

This concept paints a picture of a frontier land with blurred boundaries, where first-generation immigrant children navigate a complex journey of identity and belonging.

Once a hub for legal guest workers, border policies and Covid regulations now impose restrictions on cross-border traffic, profoundly affecting families living on opposite sides of the divide.

Recent gentrification further threatens to erase historic Mexican neighborhoods and ways of life.

In “God Save Texas: LaFrontera,” Sosa suggests that El Paso’s strength lies in its shared culture and fluidity between countries, fostering a humanity and unique blend that enabled the city to unite and heal following the tragic events of the 2019 Walmart shooting.

‘God Save Texas’ Premiere Dates

Hometown Prison – Tuesday, February 27 at 9p on HBO and stream on Max

The Price of Oil – Wednesday, February 28 at 9p on HBO and stream on Max

La Frontera – Wednesday, February 28 at 10p on HBO and stream on Max

Watch The Trailer

Do you plan to tune in and check out “God Save Texas” when the documentary trilogy premieres on HBO?

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