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Photograph of a woman in a black dress against a blue background, where the woman's dress dissolves into birds o the right side.

Clemency with director Chinonye Chukwu

Thursday Dec 10, 2020 5 PM PST

On international Human Rights Day, a screening of the Sundance winning film Clemency (2019) is followed by a live Q&A with the film's writer and director, Chinonye Chukwu, and Hammer Museum curatorial assistant Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi. Clemency features acclaimed actor Alfre Woodard as a prison warden wrecked by the emotional toll that comes with administering the death penalty. While the subject of death as a form of justice has divided the United States for years, the return of federal executions in July 2020 after a 17-year hiatus underscores the need to discuss and imagine alternatives to capital punishment at both the federal and state level. The timeliness of Clemency lies not only in how it mourns the loss of lives to state-sanctioned violence, but also in how the film illuminates the personal and societal costs of capital punishment as a tool of dehumanization. 

Chukwu is the first Black woman to win the Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury Prize with Clemency. She is slated to direct a feature film about Emmett Till's murder and to direct A Taste of Power, an adaptation of the memoir former Black Panther leader Elaine Brown.

Please note that this event will be recorded. By attending, you grant the Hammer permission to use your image, statements, and actions in any medium or context without further authorization or compensation.
All public programs are free and made possible by a major gift from an anonymous donor. Generous support is also provided by Susan Bay Nimoy and Leonard Nimoy, Good Works Foundation and Laura Donnelley, the Elizabeth Bixby Janeway Foundation, The Samuel Goldwyn Foundation, an anonymous donor, and all Hammer members.
Readings are supported by GRoW @ Annenberg.
Digital presentation of Hammer public programs is made possible by The Billy and Audrey L. Wilder Foundation.
Hammer public programs are presented online in partnership with the #KeepThePromise campaign—a movement promoting social justice and human rights through the arts.