The film, “Raising Renee,” follows Beverly McIver and her older sister, Renee, over a six-year period. An acclaimed painter with a flourishing career in the art world, McIver casually promised her mother that she would take care of Renee, who functions at the level of a third-grader, when her mother could not.
When McIver’s mother died in 2004, she followed through on her promise, moving Renee from their mother’s home in North Carolina to live with her in Arizona. Soon realizing that she needed help caring for Renee, McIver ultimately returned to North Carolina — a place she’d vowed never to live after leaving the segregation-filled environment of her youth.
The documentary, which premieres Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. ET on HBO2, follows the two sisters as they adapt to their new reality and confront the opportunity for Renee to live independently for the first time ever at age 50.
“Raising Renee” is just the latest film focusing on disability issues to appear on HBO. In recent years, the cable channel aired Monica & David, a documentary about the marriage of two young adults with Down syndrome, and produced a biopic of autism self-advocate Temple Grandin.