April 15, 2013 was a picture-perfect day for the 117th annual Boston Marathon, held on Patriots Day, which commemorates the first battle of the Revolutionary War. Spectators were gathered on Boylston Street in hopes of seeing top racers and loved ones cross the finish line. But at 2:39 p.m., two bombs detonated 12 seconds apart.
Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing recounts the dramatic story of the Boston Marathon terrorist attacks through the emotional experiences of individuals whose lives were forever changed by them. Ranging from the events of the day to the death-penalty sentencing of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the documentary features surveillance footage, news clips, home movies and exclusive interviews with survivors and their families, as well as first responders, investigators, government officials and reporters from the Boston Globe, which won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage.
In the wake of a heinous act of terrorism, newlywed couple, Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, mother Celeste Corcoran and her daughter Sydney, and the Norden brothers Paul and JP -- all gravely injured by the blast -- face the enormous challenges of physical and emotional recovery, over the course of three years, as they and their families strive to reclaim their lives and community.
Directed by Emmy nominees Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg (HBO’s Burma Soldier), and produced in association with the Boston Globe, this feature documentary goes behind the scenes of the survivors’ painful, often-frustrating rehabilitation, juxtaposing these stories with efforts of the police and FBI to identify and hunt down the perpetrators.
Along with the survivors and their families, other interviewees include Boston Globe photographer John Tlumacki, who befriended the Corcorans after apologizing to them for taking graphic photos of the wounded Sydney and Celeste, which were published around the world; FBI Special Agent Kieran Ramsey; former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick; and Boston Globe reporters Eric Moskowitz, David Filipov, David Abel and Patricia Wen, and columnist Kevin Cullen.
The documentary is dedicated to the memory of those who died in the attacks: eight-year-old Martin Richard, a third-grader; 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, a restaurant manager; 23-year-old Lu Lingzi, a Boston University grad student; and 27-year-old MIT police officer Sean Collier, who was shot to death in his patrol car by the bombers three days later.
Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg’s previous credits include the HBO Documentary Films Burma Soldier and The Trials of Darryl Hunt. Their other films include Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, The Devil Came on Horseback and Knuckleball!
Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing was produced in association with the Boston Globe; directed by Ricki Stern & Annie Sundberg; produced by Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg, Jake Abraham and Jameka Autry; For HBO: executive producer, Sheila Nevins; senior producer, Nancy Abraham; edited by Keiko Deguchi; music by Paul Brill.