FLAHERTY NYC PRESENTS
Rebecca Richman Cohen's WAR DON DON
MONDAY, MAY 9, 7:30 PM, ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVES
32 SECOND AVE, NEW YORK, NY, 10003
$9/GENERAL $7/STUDENTS & SENIORS $6/AFA MEMBERS
Director Rebecca Richman Cohen and producer Francisco Bello in person for discussion with Chris Santora, one of the Sesay trial prosecutors featured in the film!
Rebecca Richman Cohen's remarkable debut film WAR DON DON begins at the end of a decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone which has left a population devastated by mass murder, rape and savage disfigurement. Now, in the capital city of Freetown, United Nations soldiers guard a heavily fortified building known as the Special Court. Inside, a man named Issa Sesay awaits his trial. The prosecution say Sesay is a war criminal, guilty of heinous crimes against humanity. The defense says he is a reluctant fighter who protected civilians and was himself a victim of terrible poverty and violent coercion. Justice Benjamin Itoe says the Court means "to bring an end to impunity and to contribute to the peace and reconciliation process." WAR DON DON presents the trial of Issa Sesay in incredible detail and from myriad perspectives, offering a rare and penetrating view of international criminal justice.
"One of the most viscerally compelling documentaries of the year. It will leave you haunted."
Mary Anderson Casavant, Filmmaker Magazine
"Without eliding the grim human cost of the crimes and criminals involved, Rebecca Richman Cohen's unusually lucid documentary plays against type."
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"Fascinating and complex... a remarkably sophisticated examination of the machinery of justice."
The Independent Weekly, Raleigh, NC
Rebecca Richman Cohen is an award-winning filmmaker and a law school graduate with experience in international human rights and criminal defense. She interned as an investigator at the Bronx Defenders and continued to do investigative work at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, working on a legal defense team for Alex Tamba Brima in the AFRC-accused case. Five months after leaving the Brima defense team, she returned to Sierra Leone to begin production on WAR DON DON. Between trips to Sierra Leone, she has been adjunct faculty at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where she taught an undergraduate seminar entitled "Human Rights, Mass Atrocity, and Documentary Film" and at American University's Human Rights Institute where she taught "Criminal Justice Stories in Film." Rebecca graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies and with a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. For her work on WAR DON DON she was awarded the the Cinereach Award for excellence in vital, artful storytelling. WAR DON DON also won the Special Jury Prize at the SXSW Film Festival. In 2010 Rebecca was profiled in Filmmaker Magazine's 25 New Faces in Independent Film.
Deborah Dickson, a three-time Academy Award nominee, is an independent filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY.
===Upcoming at Flaherty NYC===
Seva Lives (Francisco Serrano) Monday, June 12 at Anthology Film Archives
In 1983, a Puerto Rican newspaper published Seva: History of the first U.S. invasion of Puerto Rico in May 1898. This fictional account of the U.S. invading Puerto Rico and massacring its people was a national sensation. SEVA LIVESdeconstructs the sociopolitical debate of the facts and myths surrounding the history of Puerto Rico and explores the issues that arise when fiction meddles with recollections of the past. Organized by Cinema Tropical, this screening celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 7th Robert J. Flaherty Seminar, held in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico.