Have you ever suspected that the personality tests you love to take while bored may actually be used for evil? HBO has. And it’s getting to the bottom of what’s really going on, this spring. Today, HBO Max released the first trailer, key art, and premiere date for Persona: The Dark Truth Behind Personality Tests, its latest documentary.
Based on the trailer, Persona will largely center on the origins of the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator Test. Created during World War II, the four letter test was initially developed to help women first entering the workforce decide which jobs best suited them. But as the decades have gone on the purpose of the Myers–Briggs test and others like it has changed. What started as a self-help tool useful for analyzing your personal beliefs, aspirations, and challenges has morphed into a new way to sort people both in the workplace and in their dating lives. Persona will seek to explore a number of ethical questions about our society’s reliance on these tests and if they’re actually creating another class of people to be discriminated against. According to a press release from HBO Max, “This eye-opening documentary reveals the profound ways that ideas about personality have shaped our society.”
Persona is a collaboration between HBO Max and CNN Films and produced by Dorothy Street Pictures. It will be directed by Tim Travers Hawkins, best known for directing the documentary about Chelsea Manning XY Chelsea. It will also be executive produced and written by Mark Monroe (Icarus) and produced by Julia Nottingham (Be Water, XY Chelsea). Additionally, Merve Emre, author of the book Persona is based on The Personality Brokers, will executive produce.
Since HBO Max has launched the streaming service has jumped into the world of documentary filmmaking in a big way. Over the past year it’s released Amy Schumer’s heartbreaking docuseries Expecting Amy, the examination of LGBTQ+ history Equal, and the true crime docuseries Heaven’s Gate: The Cult of Cults. It’s also premiered Class Action Park, an explosive documentary about a New Jersey water park where rules didn’t seem to exist. Persona looks as though it will continue that trend. The new documentary will premiere on HBO Max Thursday, March 4. Watch the trailer above, and prepared to be spooked by all the silly quizzes you took during your lunch break.
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