Chinonye Chukwu USA / 2019 / 113 minutes
Times and Venues:
Years of carrying out death row executions have taken a toll on prison warden Bernadine Williams, played with exquisite depth and insight by Academy Award-nominee Alfre Woodard. As she prepares to execute yet another inmate, Bernadine must confront the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is sanctioned to kill. But there is another story here, that of a man sentenced to death for the killing of a cop, which he insists he didn’t do. In a powerful film, filled with tension, horror and compassion, we witness this stoic woman’s marriage and job being slowly undermined every time she interacts with the prisoners she has come to regard more like a caring teacher than a warden. And we watch a desperate man condemned to death face both despair and hope. Writer/director Chinonye Chukwu masterfully captures visually and emotionally what it means to live in a world with capital punishment in a way that is truly unforgettable. -- Ben F. Fischer
BIO: Chinonye Chukwu is a filmmaker, educator and social justice advocate. She is the founder of Pens to Pictures, a filmmaking collaborative that teaches and empowers incarcerated women to make their own short films, from script to screen. Clemency is her second feature film. The script was a 2017 Athena List winner for best feature script featuring a female protagonist. Chinonye has also been a recipient of the prestigious Princess Grace Award and Princeton Hodder Fellowship. Her debut feature film, Alaskaland, has screened globally and been released on several digital and VOD platforms.
Woodstock Film Festival
is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization with a mission to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music, and art-related activities that promote artists, culture, inspired learning, and diversity. The
Hudson Valley Film Commission
promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video and media production.