Cinema against the death penalty
Screenings of the latest documentary film releases dedicated to the abolition of the death penalty, followed by a debate with Dr Mai Sato on The Wavering Public? The Death Penalty, Justice, and Public Opinion
14.00: Last Day of Freedom by Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman
Nominee, Best Short Documentary Subject, The 88th Academy Awards 2016
When Bill Babbitt realizes his brother Manny has committed a crime, he agonizes over his decision- should he call the police? Last Day of Freedom, a richly animated personal narrative, tells the story of Bill’s decision to stand by his brother in the face of war, crime and capital punishment. The film is a portrait of a man at the nexus of the most pressing social issues of our day – veterans’ care, mental health access and criminal justice. Original music by Fred Frith.
15.30: BLOODSWORTH – An Innocent Man by Gregory Bayne
Documentary memoir recounting Kirk Noble Bloodsworth’s remarkable journey through the criminal justice system. An innocent man convicted and sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit, Kirk became the first death row inmate exonerated by DNA evidence in the United States. Set against the backdrop of his 2013 battle for the repeal of the death penalty in the State that sentenced him to death, BLOODSWORTH – An Innocent Man offers an intimate glimpse into what it is to wake up to a living nightmare; an innocent man caught in the perfect storm of injustice.
17.00: The Wavering Public? The Death Penalty, Justice, and Public Opinion by Yo Nagatsuka
The Wavering Public? The Death Penalty, Justice and Public Opinion provides a rare insight into public perceptions of this controversial topic in Japan. 135 ordinary citizens gather for two days in one room where they listen, discuss, and deliberate on crime and punishment. The film explores what the death penalty means to ordinary citizens living in a retentionist state – one in which much of the practice surrounding the death penalty remains secretive and discreet. The project and the documentary was led by Dr Mai Sato (Lecturer, University of Reading, UK) and made possible by grants from the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the German Federal Foreign Office, the Norwegian Foreign Office, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission and the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation.