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Helen and the Bear | Alix Blair on Everlasting Love with Former Presidential Candidate and His Wife – Hot Docs Festival 2024

The documentary Helen and the Bear is a testament to the enduring power of love, proving that even opposites can attract and their love can stand the test of time.

The film follows the lives of politician and former Presidential candidate Pete McCloskey and his current wife, Helen Hooper. The story follows their lives over decades, with one very visible die-hard politician and a very private woman.

Here is the official synopsis:

At 70, Helen often acts like an uninhibited teenager, sneaking cigarettes and exploring the bounds of her sexual identity. But at home, she cares for her 96-year-old husband Pete, a once-prominent Republican politician who now depends on her absolutely. Captured in intimate verite by director Alix Blair, Helen and the Bear is a lyrical portrait of the beautiful and complex relationship between Helen and Pete as they enter the final chapter of their marriage. Helen’s inner journey is brought to life through decades of journal entries and archival footage that reveal a struggle between her love for Pete and a desire for freedom. As Pete’s health worsens and Helen anticipates life with “Bear,” she wrestles with what’s been lost and won through life by his side.

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LRM Online’s Gig Patta spoke with director Alix Blair about filming the couple, Pete McCloskey and Helen Hooper, at their home, their history, the journals, and her connection to the couple.

Alix Blair is a documentarian who has told non-fictional stories for over a decade. She made her debut as a co-director with Jeremy Lange in 2016 for the film Farmer/Veteran, which follows a veteran who has gone on three tours in Iraq to find healing with farming. Helen and the Bear marks as her sophomore documentary film. Also, she co-founded the Bay Area-based Collective of Documentary Women Cinematographers and is a member of Film Fatales.

Helen and the Bear made its premiere at Hot Docs Festival 2024.

Watch the exclusive interview with Alix Blair below. Let us know what you think of the interview.

For news and interviews, contact Gig Patta at [email protected]. Follow,, or for all his postings and musings in entertainment.

Source: LRM Online Exclusive

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