1508 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135


DIRECTED BY Chinonye Chukwu

Country: United States
Language: English

Running Time: 113min
Film Year: 2019
Category: Films, Knight Marimbas Award

In perhaps the greatest performance of her storied career, and one that is sure to demand attention come Oscar time, Alfre Woodard plays a stoic prison warden about to oversee her 13th death row execution in Clemency, a harrowing drama that took the top prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and has received universal critical acclaim.

Over the course of a dozen executions, prison warden Bernadine Williams has maintained an icy, professional demeanor for the sake of the job, even as doing so inflicts collateral damage on her marriage. But as the latest death row inmate on her watch nears his fate (one who steadfastly maintains his innocence), Bernadine careens towards an emotional breaking point.

Clemency is an indelible character study and a searing look at the toll of capital punishment on the lives of all it touches – including the families of victims seeking justice. Filmmaker Chinonye Chukwu, the first African-American women to win Sundance’s highest prize, is observant to the disproportionate toll death row reaps on black men, but also alive to the possibility of hope, and humanity finding its way back from even the darkest emotional places.

This screening is supported by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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Director: Chinonye Chukwu
Producer: Bronwyn Cornelius, Julian Cautherley, Peter Wong, Timur Bekbosunov
Screenwriter: Chinonye Chukwu
Production Company: NEON

Music: Kathryn Bostic
Cinematographer: Eric Branco
Editor: Phyllis Housen

Cast: Alfre Woodard, Aldis Hodge, Richard Schiff, Wendell Pierce

Chinonye Chukwu

Chinonye Chukwu is a Nigerian-American filmmaker. She has directed numerous short films and the 2012 feature Alaskaland. Clemency is her second feature film and it won the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Dramatic films at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, making her the first African-American woman to claim that honor.