Tues, Dec 10, 2019
7 – 9 PM (doors: 6:30 PM)
291 Main St
Discussion with producer following the screening
Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality
In the last half-century, America has become the nation with the highest rate of incarceration in the world, authorized the execution of hundreds of condemned prisoners and continued to struggle to recover from a long history of racial injustice.
For more than three decades, Alabama public interest attorney Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, has advocated on behalf of the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned, seeking to eradicate racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. An intimate portrait of this remarkable man, True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality follows his struggle to create greater fairness in the system and shows how racial injustice emerged, evolved and continues to threaten the country, challenging viewers to confront it.
Told primarily in his own words, True Justice shares Stevenson’s experience with a criminal justice system that, he asserts, “treats you better if you’re rich and guilty than if you’re poor and innocent.” The burden of facing this system is explored in candid interviews with associates, close family members and clients.
“Stevenson’s thoughtfulness and eloquence on the immoral connections he sees between government-sanctioned institutions of slavery, segregation, lynching and mass incarceration, make him an ideal messenger.”
— New York Daily News
This HBO feature documentary focuses on Stevenson’s life and career – particularly his indictment of the US criminal justice system for its role in codifying modern systemic racism – and tracks the intertwined histories of slavery, lynching, segregation and mass incarceration. Highlighting watershed moments involving cases and clients, True Justice offers a rare glimpse into the human struggle that is required when the poor and people of color are wrongly condemned or unfairly sentenced, and explores the personal toll it has taken on Stevenson and his colleagues.
The film also documents the monumental opening in 2018 of the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum and its National Memorial for Peace and Justice, the country’s only lynching memorial, which is dedicated to the more than 4,400 African American victims of lynching.
In 2014, Stevenson published his critically acclaimed memoir, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, which, like True Justice, focuses on his life’s work and most memorable cases. Just Mercy has spent more than three years on the New York Times bestseller list and has received several literary nonfiction awards, including a Carnegie Medal and an NAACP Image Award. Stevenson is also a recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant, among other honors.
Six-time Emmy-winner Peter Kunhardt (HBO’s Emmy-winning Jim: The James Foley Story) executive produces and directs; Emmy-winners Teddy Kunhardt and George Kunhardt produce and direct.
Q&A with Producer
Elyse Frenchman is a co-producer at Kunhardt Films.