Based on the former New York Times writer Lisa Belkin’s 1999 nonfiction book of the same name, Show Me A Hero stars Oscar Isaac as Nick Wasicsko, the unpopular mayor of Yonkers, New York who seeks to racially reintegrate his district. Wasicsko finally has found something he is passionate about and convinced is morally right as he aims to build low-income housing in the all-white neighborhood that had been intentionally segregated for 40 years. However, he soon comes up against serious resistance from the press, politicians, and the residents themselves.
“Justice is not about popularity,” one politician says to him, to which Wasicsko responds, “Nope, but politics is.”
The mayor’s controversial goal sparks the deep-seated racial divide in his town, and Wasicsko encounters fierce opposition from all sides in the form of protests, demands for his resignation, and physical harassment against the backdrop of a gritty 1960s style.
From William F. Zorzi, the creator of the critically-acclaimed HBO show, The Wire, and the director of 2005’s Best Picture Oscar winner, Crash, this six-part miniseries has top billing behind-the-scenes. In front of the camera, armed with a cigarette and a moustache, Oscar Isaac appears both worried and pensive throughout the trailer. Isaac’s beleaguered determination contrasts the fierce indignation of his political opponents, Henry J. Spallone, (Alfred Molina) and Angelo R. Martinelli (Jim Belushi). Winona Ryder also makes an appearance as Wasicsko’s ally, City Council president, and advocate of integration, Vinni Restiano. Top billing, indeed.
From the looks of it, Show Me A Hero will depict with stark realism the hateful opposition, angry citizens, and violent riots that Wasicsko struggled with in his attempt to make integrated housing a reality in 1960s America, and the heavy toll his efforts incur on himself and his career.
Show Me A Hero will premiere at 8/7 central on August 16 on HBO and HBO GO.