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 HBO Gives A Disco Superstar Her Due On May 20

May 3, 2023

Donna Summer and disco are synonymous. She became known as the “Queen of Disco” and had hits like “She Works Hard for The Money,” “Love to Love You, Baby,” and “I Feel Love,” among many others. And while her disco hits and her work with super producer Giorgio Moroder did make her the reigning queen of disco in the 1970s, she was also a bonafide global pop star and became the first video from a Black female artist to debut on MTV.
READ MORE: The 25 Best Music Documentaries Of The 21st Century So Far
Directed by Oscar and Emmy-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams (“Life Animated,” HBO’s “The Apollo”) & Brooklyn Sudano (Summer’s daughter), “Love To Love You Donna Summer” is an HBO Original documentary that debuts May 20 (8:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max. The documentary had its international premiere at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival and its domestic premiere at SXSW.
Here’s the official synopsis: 
Shaped by Summer’s own reflections, the memories of close family, friends, and colleagues, and filled with the sounds of Summer’s songs, LOVE TO LOVE YOU, DONNA SUMMER is an in-depth look at the iconic artist as she creates music that takes her from the avant-garde music scene in Germany to the glitter and bright lights of dance clubs in New York, to worldwide acclaim, her voice becoming the defining soundtrack of an era. A deeply personal portrait of Summer on and off the stage, the film features a wealth of photographs and never-before-seen home video footage – often shot by Summer herself – and provides a rich window into the surprising range of her artistry, from songwriting to painting, while exploring the highs and lows of a life lived on the global stage.
LOVE TO LOVE YOU: DONNA SUMMER pulsates with the beats and significance of Summer’s music, including her early hits with Giorgio Moroder, which invoked a sexuality that became a hallmark of Summer’s wildly popular stage persona at the time; and “She Works Hard for The Money,” which paid tribute to the working woman and became the first video from a Black female artist to debut on MTV. The film provides a rich perspective on her complexity, talent, and the adversity she faced while examining the impact that fame can have on love, art, and family.
“Love To Love You” is filled with important talking heads that help contextualize Summer’s extraordinary life. Leading that group are her three daughters, Brooklyn Sudano, Mimi Dohler, and Amanda Sudano Ramirez; husband, Bruce Sudano; her siblings, Dara Bernard, Mary Ellen Bernard, and Ric Gaines. Also included are her first husband Helmuth Sommer, manager Susan Munao, band member Bob Conti, and aforementioned super producer Giorgio Moroder.
“Love To Love You Donna Summe” premieres on HBO and HBO Max on May 20. Watch the new trailer below.

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