The (In)Justice for All Film Festival was conceived as a project to pull together a consortium of faith-based organizations, social justice organizations, universities and colleges, and use the power of film to educate our community and build the grass roots support needed to affect the systemic changes we require. To that end, in addition to screening films, we, along with our various partners, will be hosting several events to enrich our understanding of the issues and the challenges associated with the mass incarceration epidemic, as well as other critical justice issues of our time.
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All movie screenings are FREE!
Thursday, December 10th
OPENING NIGHT | RED CARPET
Welcome to the 7th Annual (In)Justice For All Film Festival! While we have considered providing streaming experiences during our previous festivals, we never imagined that we would end up with an entire online film festival. As always, we have curated an array of films that speak to the issues of our time - of course the over incarceration epidemic, but also immigration, police abuse, domestic abuse, systemic racism, and other topics.
Join us for our virtual RED CARPET GRAND OPENING as we set the stage for an incredible festival with guest speakers, spoken word and, of course, an incredible film, immediately following:
TRAPPED: CASH BAIL IN AMERICA
Garrett Hubbard and Chris L. Jenkins
What happens to your life when you are arrested for a non-violent crime but you're kept in jail only because you are poor and don't have the money for your release? Every day in America, hundreds of thousands of legally innocent people sit behind bars simply because they cannot afford bail. Trapped: Cash Bail in America offers an intimate look at the people ensnared in the cash bail trap, the activists and attorneys fighting to bring change to the system and the special interests who hope to keep money bail an everyday practice in America.
Friday, December 11th
FOCUS ON PEOPLE POWER
RIGHT ON: A FRIEND REMEMBERS FRED HAMPTON
Veteran community activist Jorja English Palmer (1930-2005) speaks about events between 1948-1969 which led Fred Hampton to the leadership of the Illinois Black Panther Party and to his murder by Chicago police as part of the FBI's secret counterintelligence program - COINTELPRO.
POWER TO THE PEOPLE
Power to the People speaks with Black, Latinx and white activists who were influenced by Fred Hampton and the Illinois Black Panther Party. They recall the late 1960s and how the Panther experience still affects their current community work. In doing so, they tell the story of the Illinois Black Panther Party, and the murders of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, and how that led to the empowerment of Chicago's African-American communities and the election of Chicago's first black mayor, Harold Washington, in 1983.
THE FIRST RAINBOW COALITION
The First Rainbow Coalition charts the history and legacy of a groundbreaking multi-ethnic coalition that rocked Chicago in the 1960s. Comprised of activists from the Black Panthers, the Young Patriots (southern whites), and the Young Lords (a former Puerto Rican street gang), Chicago’s Rainbow Coalition (1969-1971) united poor blacks, whites, and Latinos to openly challenge police brutality and substandard housing in one of the most segregated cities in America. What began as a drive to achieve a voice for poor communities quickly grew into a formidable political movement, attracting the support of other disenfranchised groups and the attention of a threatened FBI and Chicago political machine.
ORGANIZING ACROSS DIFFERENCES
Practically since the founding of America the powerful have contrived ways to keep the working class from uniting and wielding the power in numbers that they represent. Now, in this era of Black Lives Matter, we are once again on the cusp of a unity that can force policy changes in favor of the oppressed. Join us in a discussion centered on the importance of organizing as a tool to consolidate and extend people power.
Saturday, December 12th
FOCUS ON RESTORATIVE JUSTICE
Trinity UCC Prison Ministry | Nehemiah Trinity Rising
A BETTER WAY
On November 7, 2005, Sandra Smith died at the age of 47. She was taking 21 different medications. Now her son, Tabor Smith, vows to change the way America thinks about health. Amidst the ongoing opioid crisis, Tabor travels around the country to interview medical experts, political figures and ordinary people in order to uncover the conspiracy behind America's drug-obsessed healthcare system and, find out what can be done to change it.
FIRST YEAR OUT
Follow three men just released from prison, having served sentences ranging from 2 to 31 years. The director films the trajectory of their first year out, in the form of a logbook, to explore the physical and psychological imprint of incarceration and the issues that arise on release from prison. Can we learn to be free again?
Come with us, follow four young men serving time in a Japanese prison who take a two-year soul-searching journey to find out how they got there and how they come out with a new outlook on life. Animations illustrate their childhood memories.
RESTORATIVE PRACTICES 101 Webinar
Hosted by Nehemiah Trinity Rising
There is a better way to address community and individual harm. Many of us have been hearing about the philosophy and practices of Restorative Justice, Now you have a chance to learn the basics for yourself. Join Nehemiah Trinity Rising for an introduction to RJ, taught by some of Chicago's leading practitioners.
IN THEIR SHOES: UNHEARD STORIES
OF REENTRY AND RECOVERY
In Their Shoes follows a year in the lives of four men whose stories intersect in “Writers Without Margins,” a prison reentry and addiction recovery creative writing program. In these complex portrayals of both hope and heartache, we learn what led each person to commit their crimes and witness the challenges of their ongoing stories on the outside.
Sunday, December 13th
FOCUS ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Trinity UCC Domestic Violence Ministry | Tamar’s Wings
Kerry Ann Frazier & Chris Sanders
A couple appears to have it all; but there is a dark secret that could change everything. Shattered Pieces is based on real events and taken from excerpts of Restored, authored by the film’s director Kerry Ann Frazier.
HOW COMMUNITIES CAN RESPOND TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: COMMUNITY FORUM
Hosted by the Trinity UCC Domestic Violence Ministry and Tamar's Wings
Join a panel of experts as they discuss the challenges of and solutions to one of the scourges of our society, Domestic Violence. These sessions have been among the most emotional and powerful of all of our panel conversations and should be attended by adults or teens over 13 years old, with their parents or guardians.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
WITH SOUTH SIDE PROJECTIONS
TEACH OUR CHILDREN
Christine Choy & Susan Robeson
This film focuses on the historic 1971 Attica prison rebellion in upstate New York. It targets the conditions that caused prisoners to take drastic steps toward securing their basic rights. The film questions the reactions of prison warden Oswald, New York governor Nelson Rockefeller and President Nixon, as well as the death of 31 inmates and prison guards from bullets fired by the National Guard. Through on-site footage taken during and following the rebellion, and follow-up interviews with inmates, this film relates a powerful message concerning prisoners' rights and provides an important historical document.
INSIDE WOMEN INSIDE
Christine Choy & Cynthia Maurizio
This film exposes the daily humiliation regularly faced by women in U.S. prisons using firsthand accounts of inmates at the North Carolina Correctional Center for Women and the Correctional Institute.
SOCIAL JUSTICE FILMMAKERS PANEL DISCUSSION
After the films, join us for a conversation with Christine Choy and other filmmakers, facilitated by Chicago filmmaker, Jessica Scott.
Monday, December 14th
FOCUS ON IMMIGRATION
5:30pm (Film Block)
Illegal is a feature-length documentary about the miraculous journey of Salvadoran immigrant Laz Ayala’s life or death path to U.S. citizenship, the challenges of present-day immigration and his mission to humanize immigrants and reform immigration for the benefit of all.
GETS GOOD LIGHT
Danica Simonet and Mackenzie Kuhl
In near-term future America, the word “citizen” has come to define a narrower portion of the population and elite corruption goes unchecked. By day, a luxury condo in Brooklyn is staged for an open house to lure wealthy buyers, but by night becomes a brief refuge for a family targeted by immigration enforcement.
BAYT JADEED: SEEKING HOME
Danica Simonet & Mackenzie Kuhl
Bayt Jadeed narrates the search for home from the perspective of refugees and receiving communities both in Germany and in Minnesota.
KEEPING A FOCUS ON IMMIGRATION
WITH COVID-19 AND THE JUSTICE UPRISING
Join us for context and conversation on the additional challenges that our Covid-19 world has created in the turbulent world of immigration, specifically in the U.S.
Tuesday, December 15th
FOCUS ON BAIL REFORM
Chicago Coalition to End Money Bail & The Next Movement
GET VOCAL - A DAY OF ACTION ON BAIL REFORM
Activists take the viewer on a day of demonstrations in Albany, NY, as they fight to prevent Governor Cuomo and the State Senate from rolling back recently won and implemented bail reform.
VICTORIES: NATIONAL AND LOCAL BAIL REFORM UPDATE
Hosted by the Coalition to End Money Bond
The tide has been turning for several years now as across the country organizations and coalitions have raised the issue of keeping people in our jails simply because they cannot afford their bonds. Often a few hundred dollars stand between freedom to continue your life until your day in court, and spending weeks, months, even years awaiting your case's final disposition. "Innocent Until Proven Guilty" is engrained in our psyche, but there is a fight going on right now to make it a reality. Join us for an update on the progress we are making and, importantly, on the fights yet before us.
DON’T FORGET THEM
Kim Polo, the producer of Don’t Forget Them, states: “This is my first full-length documentary. The Middle East news has always fascinated me, ever since I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jordan. I have followed the Syrian War since 2014. Recently, I became especially moved by the stories unfolding from the refugees living in camps in Kurdistan. I couldn’t help myself…I wanted to tell the world what was happening there, inform them of the problems, possible solutions, and raise awareness for those struggling from war.”
Wednesday, December 16th
FOCUS ON MASS INCARCERATION
Trinity UCC Prison Ministry
6:00pm (Film Block)
At 16 years old Jeffrey Deskovic was convicted of the rape and murder of Angela Correa, a 15-year-old high school
classmate. His fight for freedom sheds light on the shortcomings of the American justice system and is a testament to the human spirit.
HOME BOY JOY RIDE
Home Boy Joy Ride looks at the miracle factory that is Home Boy Industries whose work has transformed the gang, drug, and violence-ridden barrios of East L.A. As Father Greg Boyle says, "we want to create a community of tenderness because the highest form of spiritual maturity is tenderness, so if love is the answer, community is the context.”
BOOK BY ITS COVER
Three inmates at the Baltimore County Detention Center share their experiences of being separated from their families and how a local program that allows them to have contact visits and read to their children is making a difference in their lives.
PRISON REFORM OR PRISON ABOLITION
Prison reform has many allies, including some unlikely ones that recognize the spending insanity, but not necessarily the moral necessity. But, is reform a possibility? The institutional momentum of the prison industrial complex resists change at every turn. Prisons are jobs programs in rural communities, they support huge industries with their demands for food and services, and they provide cheap labor for companies and our own military. Many are of the opinion that working around the edges of the horror of our prisons is a waste of our time and energy and that abolition is what is needed. To make this a reality means addressing the myriad of issues that drive crime - mental health, job opportunities, housing, education, etc. Join us for an important and exciting discussion.
Thursday, December 17th
FOCUS ON RACISM
Community Renewal Society & Interfaith Coalition Against Racism
6:00pm (Film Block)
GEOGRAPHIES OF RACIAL CAPITALISM
WITH RUTH WILSON GILMORE
Geographies of Racial Capitalism explores the brilliant research and praxis of Dr. Ruth Wilson Gilmore by unpacking the topics of racial capitalism, the prison industrial complex, abolition geography, and place-based struggle. Ruth Wilson Gilmore is a prison abolitionist and prison scholar, the Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics and professor of geography in Earth and Environmental Sciences at The City University of New York.
Augustus, a literate escaped slave masquerading as a free man in Massachusetts in 1841, experiences nightmares of his son's death and a future that resembles the struggles of his own time. Shaken to his core, Augustus realizes the horrors of slavery and racial inequalities will continue if he remains complicit. He is left with one choice - speak up.
Using the largest gang raid in New York City’s history as a starting point, Raided examines the consequences of a new era of “precision" and "community" policing.
In contrast to Stop and Frisk, which targeted large swaths of New Yorkers, precision and community policing take pride in singling out the supposed worst of the worst: gang members. Combining personal stories, archival footage and interviews with experts, Raided shows that harmful policing practices which disproportionally target people of color have not been eradicated in New York City. They have evolved. The film also reveals the role of private technology companies and the expansion of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) into domestic policing of U.S. citizen gang members, since 2006, with tragic consequences.
PATHS TO A RACISM FREE SOCIETY
Community Renewal Society &
Interfaith Committee Against Racism
Please join this panel conversation, led by Rev. Dr. Waltrina Middleton, Executive Director of the Community Renewal Society and supported by the Interfaith Committee Against Racism, as we explore ideas on how to rid our society of racism.
Friday, December 18th
FOCUS ON POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY
6:30 PM (Film Block)
THE THIN BLUE VARIETY SHOW
On a day in the life behind your television, five personified cop costumes attempt to guard the line of justice under rising pressures.
Director Gretta Wilson states, “I grew up in a police family. As I got older, I was drawn to a certain discrepancy - how movie cops who follow a hunch are heralded as heroes…yet the real-life police officers, who trust their guts over protocol, kill hundreds of black and brown Americans every year. In making this film, I wanted to twist the idea of ‘Blue Lives’ to explore the complicated legacy of movie cops and their real-life counterparts, questioning the consequences of letting any individual enforce so-called justice.”
"NO MORE...” #HASTAG
No More… is a campaign borne out of the frustration surrounding the Ahmaud Arbery case in Georgia. The cases of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd only added fuel to the raging fire in the process of creating this work. Scenarios like these are becoming all too common in this country. As a result of systemic racism and a lack of justice being served in these cases, black and brown peoples have been forced to essentially “shelter in place” as a way of life. Sadly, this is not new to people of color.
GET WOKE PHILLY
“Operation Save Our City” is a grassroots movement in Philadelphia, “…a city that is known and unknown,” according to the organization’s founder Roz Pichardo. The “City of Brotherly Love” is also the poorest of the nation’s ten largest cities, has one of the highest dropout rates, the worst opioid crisis and one of the highest murder rates in the country.
As of January 2020, the Chicago Police Department has joined over 600+ known agencies across the country that deploy Clearview AI, a facial recognition app that scrapes images from public platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to sell its proprietary policing algorithm. With a databank of over three billion headshots—and fifty million more added each day—this branded technology implicates us all by design.
Wake is a 3D animated short film that explores the impact of police brutality, discrimination, and racial injustice on a young African American woman. She tries to escape racial injustice in her world by falling into a dream which reflects the realities of the world she tried to escape. Awake, she realizes that she must “Stay Woke” to the reality of the world where discrimination and discriminant policing still occur.
POLICE REFORM OR DEFUNDING?
The shouts to defund the police have been heard from Washington State to Minnesota, from Georgia to Washington, D.C. America spends hundreds of billions of dollars on police, but in many communities citizens still do not feel safe. What is the solution? Join this conversation as we explore what it means to invest in community safety.
Saturday, December 19th
COOKED: SURVIVAL BY ZIP CODE
Chicago suffered the worst heat disaster in U.S history in 1995, when 739 residents—mostly elderly and black—died over the course of one week. As Cooked links the deadly heat wave's devastation back to the underlying man-made disaster of structural racism, it delves deep into one of our nation's biggest growth industries: Disaster Preparedness.
Award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand uses her signature serious-yet-quirky style to forge inextricable connections between the cataclysmic natural disasters we are willing to see and prepare for and the slow-motion disasters we are not. That is, until extreme weather events hit and are made exponentially more deadly and visible.
These disasters reveal the ways in which class, race, and zip code predetermine who lives on the edge to start with, who gets hurt the worst, who recovers and who doesn't.
Cooked is an adaptation of Eric Klinenberg’s groundbreaking book Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago.
COMMUNITY FORUM ON EVICTION
Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance & Trinity UCC Justice Watch Team
3 DAY EVICTION
Brian L. Tan
Even before Covid-19, evictions were a source of misery to millions of Americans, and particularly children. And, of course, misery seems always to multiply in African American communities. In this case, for example, African American women are evicted 9 times more often than white women (Milwaukee study by Matthew Desmond from his book Evicted. Join us for the screening of 3 Day Eviction . . .
"Across America, landlords have the power to evict tenants with as little as three days’ notice. When new owners take over an apartment building in South Central in dire need of a remodel, its long-time manager Bene has a dilemma: evict the neighbors he's come to know and love or get evicted himself for refusing to play a role in the changing dynamics of the community."
Following the film, we will explore in more detail this devastating dilemma for so many families and provide an update on what assistance is available through Covid-19 relief efforts. Q&A session to follow.
Join the celebration of these wonderful films as we present festival awards and our Curley Cohen Fan Favorite Award. We will close out the festival with our Grand Prize award winning film.