For the 14-part series, which kicks off this Thursday at 9 p.m. Eastern, HBO has gathered some of the best names in documentary filmmaking — including D.A. Pennebaker, who made the groundbreaking Bob Dylan doc Don't Look Back; Albert Maysles, the cinematographer behind must-sees Grey Gardens and Gimme Shelter; and Barbara Kopple, who directed the Dixie Chicks documentary Shut Up & Sing.
Here's the coolest part: If you aren't an HBO subscriber, you can download the documentaries for free on HBO's web site or buy a copy on DVD. For all of the details, read more
According to a recent AP story, HBO executive Sheila Nevins got the idea for the series after struggling to understand her son David's problems with cocaine and booze. The article explains:
David, 26 and a location assistant for "The Sopranos," has been sober for about a year after a decade of substance abuse problems. Nevins, president of HBO Documentary Films, had tried every approach she could think of to help him. Psychiatrists, rehab centers, tough love — she'd been through it all.
"I was doing all these things and it never occurred to me it was a brain disease," she said.
It looks like the series will focus heavily on the scientific and mental aspect of addiction. In fact, the project is backed by both the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). You can watch a preview of Addiction on HBO's site, then check out the schedule to find out when each installment is airing.
Photo courtesy of HBO