Segments in this Video

Dustin Lance Black (02:08)


In 2009, the gay screenwriter won an Oscar for "Milk." He thanked his mom in his speech and promised he would help make the world better for LGBTQ kids. His mom held him to that promise.

Anne's Childhood (05:29)

Black's mother Anne was from a large, poor family in Lake Providence, Louisiana. Anne contracted polio at the age of two and spent years in a hospital.

Polio Effects (04:09)

Polio left Anne immobile from the chest down, but she learned to use crutches while living at the hospital. She had steel rods implanted along her spine and the surgery left her in a coma. She eventually woke and left the hospital at age 15.

Anne's Determination (04:54)

Anne was determined not let polio define her. She went to college to study medicine. After her boyfriend rejected her because of the believed inability for her to have a family, she joined the Mormon Church and met a man named Raul Garrison.

Anne's New Life (03:44)

Now Mormon and living in California with Garrison, Anne had her first child. She had two more children, including Black. Her family remembered her as strong and independent.

Family Life in Texas (05:18)

Garrison moved Anne and the family to Texas when he got a new job. Black had his first crush on a boy at age six and thought he was going to Hell because he was a Mormon. Anne caught Garrison having an affair and he abandoned the family.

Life Without Garrison (04:42)

The Mormon Church financially supported Black's family until Anne learned to drive and get a job. The Church set Anne up with a new husband named Meryl D. Black. Meryl quickly became abusive to Anne and the children.

Domestic Violence (04:01)

Black often took his younger brother Todd to a nearby park to keep him out of the house. Black once came home to find Meryl trying to kill Anne. Black’s older brother Marcus stopped him. Shortly after the incident, Marcus went to Korea for work.

Changing Family Life (05:08)

Anne told her extended family about Meryl's abuse when he was in Korea and divorced him. Anne began seeing an Army doctor that she worked with named Jeff Bisch. He was reassigned to California and Anne and her children went with him.

Life in California (04:41)

Anne began working as a medical technician on the Army base in Salinas, California. Black described it as a safe home life but in a more dangerous area than Texas. Black began doing theater and met his best friend, Ryan Elizalde.

Black in Los Angeles (02:26)

Black knew he wanted to work in film and decided to move to Los Angeles with Elizalde. Anne was terrified but let him go. Black worked and attended community college, before applying to UCLA's film school; he was accepted.

Coming Out (06:17)

Anne and Jeff moved to Washington, D.C. and Anne became an immunologist working with AIDs. Black and Elizalde were afraid to come out to anyone, including each other. Elizalde came out first and Black remained closeted.

Black and Anne's Relationship (05:31)

Black was scared he would lose his mom if he came out. Anne was disappointed and they began to drift apart. Anne attended Black's graduation and changed her views after hearing queer stories from his friends.

Black's Big Break (04:54)

Black began writing and telling gay stories. He wrote a script for a biopic about gay San Francisco politician Harvey Milk. Black struggled to get the movie made and worried he would not get Milk's story right.

Black and Marcus' Relationship (03:40)

While Black worked on "Milk," Marcus came out. Marcus moved from rural Virginia to California but felt he did not fit into the gay scene. Marcus eventually moved away to a small town in western Michigan and Black began to lose touch with him.

Cancer Diagnosis (03:12)

Anne retired after working 20 years for the Department of Defense. Doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer; chemotherapy took a toll on her body. Black brought her as his guest to the Oscars.

Proposition 8 (08:08)

Black's Oscars acceptance speech occurred during the time Prop 8 took away marriage equality in California. Anne told Black to stick to his promise and he spent the next few years focusing on marriage equality. Black met with Mormon marriage equality proponents in Utah and began building bridges.

Marcus' Death (07:44)

Black continued gay activism and attended Supreme Court hearings for federal marriage equality. He had worked, in part, for people in rural communities like Marcus. Marcus died of bladder and bone cancer in 2012.

Black and Tom Daley (01:36)

Shortly after Marcus' death, Black met a British Olympic diver whose father recently died. Daley attended Christmas with Black's family and met Anne.

Black's Extended Family (04:36)

When Black's aunt Josie died, Anne wanted him to go to rural Texas for the funeral. He worried about traveling to a conservative area and spending time with his Southern Baptist family. His family members had changed their views on gay issues and accepted Black.

Anne's Death (04:10)

Black went to Virginia to spend his 40th birthday with Anne. During his visit, he had to rush her to the hospital, and she died. Anne had told Black to fight for her life and he felt that he had failed.

Anne's Life (03:14)

Black worked to have Anne buried beside Marcus in California. Black kept his promise by embodying Anne's courage and determination.

Credits: "Mama's Boy" (02:05)

Credits: "Mama's Boy"

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Mama's Boy

3-Year Streaming Price: $199.95



HBO documentary Mama's Boy, directed by Laurent Bouzereau (HBO’s Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind), centers around the upbringing of the Academy Award®-winning screenwriter of Milk, Dustin Lance Black. Traveling back to the places where he grew up, Black explores his childhood roots, gay identity and close relationship with his mother, who overcame childhood polio, abusive marriages and Mormon dogma, while becoming Black’s emotional rock and, ultimately, the inspiration for his activism. With a wealth of personal photographs and candid memories from Black’s family, colleagues, and friends, Mama's Boy embraces the personal to tell a universally hopeful tale of resilience and reconciliation through the power of love and shared stories. Adapted from Black’s 2019 memoir “Mama’s Boy: A Story from our Americas,” the documentary is a provocative and powerful journey through America as well as a moving tribute to a mother’s courage and a reckoning with the strength she instilled in her son to fight for his beliefs. The film features interviews with screenwriter Dustin Lance Black; members of Black’s extended family; Black’s husband, Olympic gold medalist Tom Daley; filmmaker Paris Barclay; former president of the Human Rights Campaign, Chad Griffin; and executive director of Equality Utah, Troy Williams.

Length: 103 minutes

Item#: BVL283439

Copyright date: ©2022

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.