When a couple is going through a divorce, they can forget how much it affects their kids. Moving, insightful and often funny, DON’T DIVORCE ME! KIDS’ RULES FOR PARENTS ON DIVORCE addresses this important subject, allowing kids to offer dos and don’ts parents should follow and providing a valuable tool for families struggling to find their way. From executive producer Rosie O’Donnell (HBO’s “A Family Is a Family Is a Family”) and Emmy®-winning director Amy Schatz (HBO’s “Classical Baby”), the tender, heartfelt documentary debuts on HBO.
“When thinking about divorce, a child’s perspective can often be left out of the equation,” notes executive producer Rosie O’Donnell. “This film puts these kids front and center, advocating on their behalf. DON’T DIVORCE ME! will help remind parents and children alike that at the end of the day, we must respect and listen to one another.”
Ranging in age from five to ten, more than two dozen children candidly share their innermost feelings, displaying surprising maturity. DON’T DIVORCE ME! weaves together interviews, drawings, songs, photos and handwritten rules for parents on how to make divorce a little easier on kids. Included in these rules are such heartfelt statements as “Tell me it’s not my fault,” “Don’t put me in the middle,” “Don’t take your anger out on me” and\ “Respect my feelings.” These young children tell their stories to remind parents that divorce – and the resulting splitting of time, home and family – is hard on them, but there are ways to make things better.
Acknowledging that life is not “always a fairy tale, happily ever after,” Olive, a nine-year-old whose parents have moved on with new partners, remarks that it’s difficult to find a “big bright side” in divorce, “but you will find it if you look hard.”
The film includes original music from the Grammy-winning band The Roots and singer-songwriter Mossi, as well as composer Andrew Hollander (“Sleepwalk with Me”). In addition, DON’T DIVORCE ME! features two original songs composed by Grammy nominee Brady Rymer, Bella, age ten, and Lili, age eight, entitled “It’s Okay to Cry” and “Take It from Me.”
Amy Schatz’s previous HBO credits include the Emmy® winners “A Child’s Garden of Poetry,” “Classical Baby,” “Through a Child’s Eyes: September 11, 2011” and “Goodnight Moon and Other Sleepytime Tales,” as well as “A Family Is a Family Is a Family: A Rosie O’Donnell Celebration.” Overall, she has received seven Emmy® Awards, four Directors Guild awards and three Peabody Awards, among other honors.
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DON’T DIVORCE ME! KIDS’ RULES FOR PARENTS ON DIVORCE is directed and produced by Amy Schatz; edited by Tom Patterson; producers, Sabina Barach and Beth Levison; directors of photography, Alex Rappoport and Joel Shapiro; music supervisor, Linda Cohen; original music by The Roots & Mossi, Andrew Hollander and Brady Rymer; production executive, Susan Benaroya; supervising producer, Jacqueline Glover; executive producers, Rosie O'Donnell and Sheila Nevins.