After Carrie Fisher’s death on December 27, and the subsequent death of her mother and best friend Debbie Reynolds of a stroke on December 28, many felt the weight of the loss of two icons — known not only for what they meant to film, but also theatre, books, the discourse of mental illness, and feminism. Their warm, complex and honest display of familial love was also something people looked to Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds for. HBO had actually long been planning to air a documentary about their relationship; after their deaths, the premium cable network moved its original air date from March to January 7.
The trailer, which was just released, and which you can watch below, is lovely and sweet. But given its new context, it’s far harder to watch than it was of course intended; it was made as a tribute to a vital relationship, and as the opening screen now suggests, it’s been naturally repurposed as a memorial.
The doc, titled Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, hit Cannes earlier this year, and was actually filmed in 2014 and 2015. It was made by Fisher Stevens and Alexis Bloom; in November, Bloom told the LA Times:
I mean, the first time we filmed Carrie and Debbie together, that was the storyline, really. Sort of the ties that bind us. We didn’t know when we would stop or how far back we would archive, but the axis on which the film turned was their relationship and their love — even though showbiz warps the best of people and warps the best of relationships, and I’m sure to some degree they would agree it’s warped their family. But at the center of it is love, and that’s sort of undiminished.
Watch the just-released trailer:
Honoring the depth of their connectedness, Fisher and Reynolds will be buried together at a private funeral, likely sometime this week.