Director of New ESPN Tiger Woods Documentary Says Viewers Will See Him 'in a New Light'
"This story is as much about us, as it is about Tiger," director Lauren Stowell tells PEOPLE
The Tiger Woods story is getting reexamined for a new documentary.
Debuting this holiday weekend, Tiger Woods: America’s Son from ESPN's The Undefeated will look at the famed golfer's success and how it relates to his racial identity, director and producer Lauren Stowell tells PEOPLE.
"This is a portrait of Tiger through the prism of race and culture – how the world viewed him, and how he viewed himself," Stowell explains. "We explore what it means to be pioneering and Black, and the expectations that are attached to your achievements."
The one-hour documentary includes interviews with Woods' fellow golfers, former caddies, and journalists who have frequently covered his career, in addition to archival footage of the athlete and his family.
"Tiger’s father, Earl Woods, was of African American, Chinese and Native American descent, and his mother, Kultida, is of Thai, Chinese and Dutch descent," Stowell — who previously won Sports Emmy Awards for outstanding long feature and outstanding short documentary — says of the importance of Woods' race in the film.
She notes that Woods' story is important because there was "a time in our not-so-distant past when African Americans weren’t allowed to compete at golf’s highest level."
"That history puts into perspective the significance of Tiger’s achievement in 1997 [at The Masters tournament] — becoming the first Black player to win a major championship — but is also a yardstick of how far we’ve come and, and how far we have yet to go," she tells PEOPLE. "This is a critical time to talk honestly about issues around race, and maybe this doc can start some of those important conversations."
Tiger Woods: America’s Son will premiere on Sunday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. EST on ESPN and the ESPN App.
For those that tune in, Stowell says, "You will see Tiger in a new light, but also be challenged to think about perceptions of race that our country has held for centuries."
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