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Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements

A Murder In The Park

2015, Shawn Rech and Brandon Kimber, USA, 93 min.


The 6:00 PM screening is a Movie Club Event. Join us for a post-screening conversation and a complimentary cocktail at Virgin Hotels Chicago, 203 N. Wabash. Movie ticket required for entry.

Show Times

  • 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
Chicago premiere!

“A jaw-dropping story of corruption and thwarted justice.” — Chris Barsanti, PopMatters.com

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)

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.