As I noted in a past post, I’m very interested in checking out this doc – fascinating subject that I wouldn’t have ever even considered as a documentary subject, and from the looks of the below clip, and all I’ve already seen from the film, I’m sufficiently intrigued.
Recapping… titled Gideon’s Army, from African American filmmaker Dawn Porter, the film tells the story of a group of the idealistic public defenders working in the Deep South, and the man who brought them together to train, mentor and turn into lawyers.
This is Gideon’s Army:
In 1963, the landmark Supreme Court decision Gideon v. Wainwright guaranteed all defendants facing imprisonment the right to a lawyer. Now, every year millions of Americans facing trial rely on fewer than 15,000 public defenders, and the country’s justice system hangs in the balance. Gideon’s Army confronts this crisis head-on, tracking a group of young southern public defenders hell-bent on protecting the sanctity of human liberty. Not only are they juggling hundreds of cases independently, but their offices don’t have adequate resources, and their salaries barely cover personal expenses – including 6-figure law-school debts. How long can they keep working in a constant state of emergency? Will they find the moral support to sustain this higher calling? And if not, what happens to our democracy?
Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in the next 10 days, the festival calls it taut, visceral filmmaking.
Dawn Porter’s resume includes executive producing feature films, was director of standards and practices at ABC News and vice president of standards at A&E. She was also an attorney at ABC Television before beginning her film career, so her background seemingly informs her filmmaking, which should make for a comprehensive study here.
Here’s a new clip from the clip that surfaced today: