This undated image shows civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson from the documentary “True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality.” The program airs Wednesday on HBO. The film explores the legacy of lynchings of African Americans in the U.S. and considers lynching's connection to those who have wrongly sat on death row. (Nick Frontiero/HBO)
This undated image shows civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson from the documentary “True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality.” The program airs Wednesday on HBO. The film explores the legacy of lynchings of African Americans in the U.S. and considers lynching's connection to those who have wrongly sat on death row. (Nick Frontiero/HBO)
NEW YORK (CNS) — Filmmakers Peter, George and Teddy Kunhardt — father and sons — have delivered again for HBO. Their latest work, "True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality," is a remarkable documentary about an exceptional man.

Debuting Wednesday, June 26, 8-10 p.m. EDT, "True Justice" adds to the list of astonishingly personal, informative and compelling profiles the Kunhardts have made about prominent Americans for the pay-cable channel. Their previous films include last year's "King in the Wilderness" and 2017's "The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee."

In "True Justice," the documentarians employ their signature trope, notably absent from "King in the Wilderness," of letting their subject speak for himself. That approach once again yields benefits.

In 1989, Stevenson, an African American attorney, founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit legal representation and racial justice advocacy group based in Montgomery, Alabama — once the capital of the Confederacy. Over the past three decades, Stevenson, now 59, has successfully argued five cases before the Supreme Court.

Stevenson is a highly esteemed and eloquent champion for the cause of equality before the law. His best-selling and critically lauded 2014 memoir, "Just Mercy," establishes vital connections between the history of slavery, segregation and lynching on the one hand and the contemporary practices of mass incarceration and disproportionately administered capital punishment on the other.

The documentary's themes are well-established from the outset. In its prologue, Stevenson recalls a painful incident from his 1960s childhood that was seared into his memory.

On a family trip to Disneyland, he and his sister, Christy, were thrilled to stay in a hotel for the first time. And the chance to swim in its pool was, Stevenson says, "glorious." Until, that is, white parents began snatching their kids out of the pool. As an innocent child, Stevenson wondered what was wrong. Angrily directing a racial epithet at him, one white parent answered, "You are."

The filmmakers illustrate how Stevenson uses his family's past to confront America's legacy of ugly racism. His trip with his grandmother to visit his great-grandfather's slave shack in Bowling Green, Virginia, both informed and troubled him.

Stevenson realized his grandmother was teaching him to listen to the "untold history of cruelty in this country" and to use it as a motivation. That lesson may have helped Stevenson as he secured the release from Alabama's death row of two falsely accused men: Walter McMillian and Anthony Hinton.

Exonerated after six years on death row, McMillian remained traumatized by his incarceration, developed dementia and died at 71 in September 2013. Hinton's story, by contrast, is more upbeat. The celebration of his 2015 release — after 30 years on death row — is one of the film's most touching and powerful moments.

Beyond the mature content inherent in its subject matter, "True Justice" includes starkly evocative images of lynching that are particularly difficult to watch as well as some racial slurs. Given its edifying tone and cultural and historical significance, however, many parents may deem the program suitable viewing for mature teenagers.

"True Justice" will probably remind viewers of Henry Louis Gates' retrospective "Reconstruction: America After the Civil War," broadcast on PBS earlier this year. But there are important differences.

Osei Essed's score, for instance, distinguishes and elevates the newer show. It makes for one of the better marriages between sound and images viewers will likely experience. The subtly evocative and quietly ascendant music soothes any potential stridency in the presentation of the program's challenging material.

But Stevenson is the best thing "True Justice" has going for it. He's a national treasure whose work should inspire the documentary's audience to follow his lead in doing "things that are restorative."