Gideon’s Army

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“An eye-opening insight into a judicial hellhole world that ordinary citizens can never imagine.” — Duane Byrge, Hollywood Reporter

Director: Dawn Porter
Year: 2013
Country: USA
Running time: 96 mins

Producers: Julie Goldman, Dawn Porter
Screenplay: Dawn Porter, Matthew Hamachek
Photography: Chris Hilleke, Patrick Sheehan
Editor: Matthew Hamachek
Sound: Patrick Sheehan, James Peterson, Wayne Reynolds
Music: Paul Brill

With: Travis Williams, Brandy Alexander, June Hardwick, Demontes Wright, Jonathan Rapping, Brett Willis, Sharon Lewis, Branden Mullin, Jacquise Welchel

Festivals: Sundance 2013
Editing Award (Documentary), Sundance Film Festival 2013

“The soldiers of Gideon’s Army, Dawn Porter’s stirring debut documentary, are public defenders – lawyers who dedicate themselves to representing the indigent, and regularly answering the question, ‘How can you defend those people?’ Like the film itself, Porter’s handful of devoted, charismatic attorneys do a righteous job of reminding people that the accused are innocent until proven guilty, and that the criminal justice system seems otherwise disposed… Porter includes several Georgia and Mississippi lawyers… but the director’s main focus is on Georgia-based defenders Travis Williams and Brandy Alexander, both of whom handle well over 100 cases at any given time, constantly wrestling with a system skewed against them. They don’t pretend that all their clients are angels; one, whom Alexander spent an enormous amount of time trying to free, plotted to kill her in court if she lost his case. But their mission is equal justice under the law. And as Porter quite clearly points out, that is an increasingly elusive goal.” — John Anderson, Variety