This gripping documentary investigates a controversial Chicago murder case and makes a compelling argument that the celebrated exposure of an alleged miscarriage of justice, central to the ending of the death penalty in Illinois, may itself have led to a graver and more authentic injustice.In 1982, two teenagers were murdered near a public swimming pool in Washington Park on Chicago’s South Side. Identified by six witnesses, Anthony Porter was convicted and sentenced to death. In 1999, Porter was set free, thanks to the efforts of the Innocence Project, conducted by Professor David Protess and his students at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Crucial to Porter’s release were an eyewitness’s recanted testimony and a new confession by another man, Alstory Simon, who was subsequently convicted for the murders. The case became a key factor in the death-penalty moratorium declared by Gov. Ryan in 2003.It was a great story — as one newspaperman called it, “a journalist’s dream.” But, as one of the investigating police officers maintained, “There was one problem — it was one big lie.” Cracks began to appear, and questions multiplied. Why weren’t the other eyewitnesses contacted by Protess and his students? Was the witness who recanted intimidated by Porter? Was Simon’s confession coerced by Protess’s hired investigator, posing as a policeman? Why was Porter released almost immediately after Simon’s confession was leaked to CBS News, without being checked out by the State’s Attorney’s office? Why was Simon represented by a lawyer who had close ties to Protess’s team? Had the real killer been released, and an innocent man railroaded into prison? DCP digital. (MR)
A Murder In The Park
2015, Shawn Rech and Brandon Kimber, USA, 93 min.
- Fri, Jul 10th 8:00pm
- Sat, Jul 11th 7:30pm
- Sun, Jul 12th 5:45pm
- Mon, Jul 13th 8:15pm
- Tue, Jul 14th 6:00pm
- Wed, Jul 15th 6:00pm
- Wed, Jul 15th 8:15pm
- Thu, Jul 16th 8:15pm
- Fri, Jul 17th 8:00pm
- Sat, Jul 18th 3:00pm
- Sat, Jul 18th 7:45pm
- Sun, Jul 19th 5:30pm
- Mon, Jul 20th 6:00pm
- Tue, Jul 21st 8:00pm
- Wed, Jul 22nd 8:30pm
- Thu, Jul 23rd 6:00pm
“A jaw-dropping story of corruption and thwarted justice.” — Chris Barsanti, PopMatters.com
FRIDAY, JULY 10: Co-directors Shawn Rech and Brandon Kimber and executive producer Andrew Hale will be present for audience discussion moderated by critic Steve Prokopy.
SATURDAY, JULY 11: Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion featuring co-director Shawn Rech; Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn; and Rob Warden, journalist and Executive Director, Emeritus, Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University. The discussion will be moderated by critic Steve Prokopy.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 15: The 6:00 PM screening is a Movie Club event facilitated by Kevin Davis, an award-winning journalist, author and magazine writer based in Chicago. A former crime reporter for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, his writing has appeared in USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago magazine, Utne Reader, In These Times, American Bar Association Journal, Reader's Digest, USA Weekend, Encyclopedia Britannica and many other publications.
FRIDAY, JULY 17: Co-director Shawn Rech will be present at the screening.
SATURDAY, JULY 18: Co-director Shawn Rech will be present at both screenings.
FELIX AND MEIRA
(FÉLIX ET MEIRA)
2014, Maxime Giroux, Canada, 105 min. With Hadas Yaron, Martin Dubreuil
"Distinguishes itself through its subtlety and sensitivity."
— Peter Debruge, Variety
“Shows an outstanding hand at observation and subtlety... Yaron’s lovely performance forms the heart of the film."
— Pat Mullen, Cinemablographer
A naïve young Hasidic wife and new mother chafes under the severity and ritual embraced by her devout husband and his family, rebelling through secret birth control pills and a love of forbidden soul music. In the depths of a Montreal winter, Meira (Yaron of FILL THE VOID) crosses paths with Felix (Dubreuil), middle-aged, spiritually adrift, and without direction in the wake of his father’s death. Against all odds, each finds a new reason for hope in the other, but director Giroux has a more complex goal than crafting a simplistic romance. Cultural differences take their toll on the would-be lovers, and tentative steps toward joy will exact a hefty price. In French, English, Yiddish, Hebrew, and Spanish with English subtitles. DCP digital. (BS)
The 6:00 pm screening on Wednesday, June 3, is a Movie Club event, facilitated by Todd Hasak-Lowy, novelist (“Captives”), translator, author of “Here and Now: History, Nationalism, and Realism in Hebrew Fiction,” and teacher of creative writing and literature at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.