To Kill a Mockingbird is by far my favorite book. And like many people I love to talk with others who are equally passionate about the things I am. So when I happened upon the documentary Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird while at my local library, I just had to watch it. Filled with dozens of people’s thoughts and impressions of Harper Lee as well as her famous novel, this family-friendly docu is a perfect follow-up for those who have read To Kill a Mockingbird and seen the award winning movie.
Made in 2010, Hey, Boo features audio from a 1964 interview with Harper Lee in which she talks of her astonishment over the success of To Kill a Mockingbird, among other insights. Then there are the personal accounts of her dear friends Joy and Michael Brown who supported her during the writing of To Kill a Mockingbird. It was beautiful to hear the Browns share how much they believed in “Nelle” and took that faith in her talent to the next level by allowing her to write for a year without working. There are also the myriad of accomplished writers and famous figures who share their own thoughts on the legendary novel and it’s author. People ranging from Oprah Winfrey and Tom Brokaw to Richard Russo and Adriana Trigiani read their favorite passages and share their thoughts. But in my opinion the key to Hey, Boo is the personal account of Lee’s older sister, Alice Finch Lee, who at the time of filming was 99 years old and still practicing law at the Alabama firm her father started. She was perfection.
In Hey, Boo we learn all about the casting and production of the film, the real truth about Lee’s friendship with Truman Capote, as well as the reason she chose to stop giving interviews and actually kept that promise all these years. I, like so many other people, would love to sit and chat with Harper Lee. Scratch that, I’d love to sit and listen to Harper Lee. But since that doesn’t seem likely, I’ll gladly settle for Hey, Boo — and Alice Finch Lee.
Hey, Boo is currently available on Netflix and DVD. (Technically this film has not been rated, but I have personally given it a G-rating).