HBO’s The Lion’s Mouth Opens


This verité documentary is about confronting life’s most daunting moments with purpose and grace, and about the impact of genetic bonds and genetic testing on the people we love and on how we face our destiny. Stunningly courageous young filmmaker-actress Marianna Palka gathers her friends around her as she finds out whether she has inherited Huntington’s Disease, an incurable degenerative disorder which took her father and now has a 50% chance of taking her body and her mind. Intimate, suspenseful, and emotional, with sensitive verité cinematography by Nick Higgins, and with a title taken from the Bob Dylan poem which Marianna recites about Woody Guthrie who died from Huntington’s Disease, The Lion’s Mouth Opens ultimately inspires us to find a new dream no matter what.

Winner of the award for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking at the Cinema Eye Honors, the film is directed by Emmy-winning and two-time Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Lucy Walker.


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