Four Hours at the Capitol on airs on HBO Oct. 20
An explosion caused by a police munition is seen while Trump supporters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis; Photo courtesy of HBO

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Four Hours at the Capitol

Jamie Roberts, director of the upcoming documentary Four Hours at the Capitol was in his London office during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. At the time, he was working on a project about the Kenosha, Wisconsin, shootings that took place on Aug. 25, 2020. But his focus quickly changed as he watched the insurrection unfold. “Myself and the executive rep, Dan Reed, we were watching the events play out,” the U.K.-based director recalls. “Instantly, we were like, this is the same themes we’ve been looking at … we straight away started hustling to make a film on it.” The result is Four Hours at the Capitol, which premieres Oct. 20 on HBO. The documentary contains interviews with lawmakers, staffers, Metropolitan and Capitol police officers, and a handful of rioters. It also features never-before-seen images ranging from security body cameras to footage shot by the rioters themselves in an effort to tell the complete story of how the insurrection played out throughout the building. “There’s a scene in the film where there’s a guy that goes into the rotunda and everybody is dancing around and he starts passing out marijuana to everybody and they all start smoking weed,” Roberts explains. “It doesn’t look very violent. About the same time, one of Nancy Pelosi‘s staffers is hiding under a table as people are trying to smash the door in.” According to HBO/Warner Media, Four Hours at the Capitol seeks to provide an “unfiltered look at the insurrection, standing both as an intimate recollection as well as a stark reminder of the wider ramifications of the events.” Roberts tells City Paper he hopes the documentary “gives people a deeper understanding of exactly what happened. … I think once you actually start to understand how those hours and minutes and seconds played out, you can really get a sense of what really did happen. Who was there; what the motivations were. What the failings were. I think quite a lot of that at the moment has been lost.” The hour and half documentary premieres at 9 p.m. ET on Oct. 20 on HBO and HBO Max. hbo.com.