Monday, July 1, 2013

Documentary "Gideon's Army" Premieres Tonight on HBO

GIDEON’S ARMY follows the personal stories of 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, who heads the Southern Public Defender Training Center (now known as Gideon’s Promise) 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?

An official selection in the prestigious U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, GIDEON’S ARMY was awarded the editing prize at the festival. The film will premiere on HBO summer 2013.

 · July 1 at 9:00 pm
· July 7 at 1:05 pm
· July 9 at 4 pm & 12:15 am
· July 13 at 9:45 am
· July 19 at 8:15 am

Representative Reviews Include:

Gideon's Army: HBO's Most Illuminating Crime Drama Since The Wire - The Village Voice

Porter's film is dramatic, unsettling, despairing, and in the end thrilling -- at some point, it grows from a portrait of this country's problems into a celebration of a possible solution. Somewhere, out there, the best of us are fighting.

Foot Soldiers in the Battle for a Fair Shake: Defending the Underclass, in ‘Gideon’s Army’ - NY Times Critic's Choice

“Gideon’s Army” is a bare film with no narrator and a minimal soundtrack. That’s all it needs to grab you by the throat.
 Gideon's Army: Sundance Review _ Hollywood Reporter
Overall, Gideon’s Army is an eye-opening insight into a judicial hellhole world that ordinary citizens can never imagine.  Throughout the unsung heroism of these three warriors in the legal trenches is fittingly stirred.
Note - Eight Kentucky public defenders are participants in "Gideon's Promise", the organization highlighted in the film.   Several other  Kentucky public defenders are part of the faculty.