Director: Dawn Porter
Writer(s): Matthew Hamachek, Dawn Porter
Awards: Official Selection 2013 Sundance Film Festival, winner Editing Award: US Documentary.
One Night Only! Gideon’s Army will be screened on Tuesday, January 21st at 7:00 PM as part of the MLK Jr. Celebration Week. FREE Admission.
Gideon’s Army follows Travis Williams, Brandy Alexander and June Hardwick, three young public defenders who are part of a small group of idealistic lawyers in the Deep South challenging the assumptions that drive a criminal justice system strained to the breaking point. Backed by mentor Jonathan “Rap” Rapping, a charismatic leader who heads the Southern Public Defender Training Center, they struggle against long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads so common that even the most committed often give up in their first year. Nearly 50 years since the landmark Supreme Court ruling Gideon vs. Wainwright that established the right to counsel, can these courageous lawyers revolutionize the way America thinks about indigent defense and make “justice for all” a reality?
“Gideon’s Army does what the best documentaries have always done: It makes us think about something we’d rather not.” -David Hinckley, New York Daily News
“Compelling insight into the staggering pressures faced by court-appointed public defenders.” -Duane Byrge, Hollywood Reporter
“Like the film itself, Porter’s handful of devoted, charismatic attorneys do a righteous job of reminding people that the accused are innocent until proven guilty, and that the criminal justice system seems otherwise disposed.” -John Anderson, Variety