Mary Murphy's Hey, Boo is a great documentary about Nelle Harper Lee and her novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee took to a very private existence several years after publication of the novel in 1960. She stopped doing interviews and she never wrote another novel. But the impact of the book, and shortly afterward a faithful film version starring Gregory Peck, kept the press and public hungry for more. Eventually, rumors arose that she had not written the novel, and that her friend Truman Capote had edited it into shape. This film addresses that nontroversy and triangulates a profile of Lee through interviews with many people who knew her. The trailer above focuses on some of the celebrities and authors who offer their personal reactions to the book. But the best interviews in the film and some of its best moments come from Alice, Lee's older sister, a gravelly voiced 99-year-old still-practicing lawyer when Murphy made the documentary.
There's a forthcoming book about Harper Lee by Marja Mills called The Mockingbird Next Door: Life With Harper Lee. Through Alice's law firm, Harper recently released a statement saying, "I have not willingly participated with any book written or to be written by Marja Mills." Mills published a profile of Harper in the Chicago Tribune in 1992.
The film's run at Zeitgeist has been extended through May 26.