Robert De Niro got choked up while remembering his father, an aspiring artist struggling with his sexuality, during Monday’s HBO documentary “Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr.,” directed by Perri Peltz.
“I realized how important it is for children to appreciate things their parents did,” De Niro said. “‘Cause I regret certain things with my parents that I didn’t follow through on. I feel it’s my obligation to document what he did, keep it going.”
De Niro read quotes from his father’s many journal entrees about his ambition to become a successful painter.
“Being a painter is an affliction like being a homosexual,” De Niro quotes his father as writing. “One had to have the strength to continue working without the thought of recognition even before or after death, just as one had to have the strength to accept life alone without the thought of a romantic attachment.”
De Niro’s father died in 1993 of prostate cancer.
The film will play on HBO throughout June and July and will also be available on HBO Go.