Clemency. 2019. USA. Directed by Chinonye Chukwu. 113 min.
Winner of the Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Chinonye Chukwu’s sophomore feature is an enthralling drama anchored by a powerhouse performance from the great Alfre Woodard. Bernadine (Woodard) is a prison warden whose psychic toll has been wrought by years working on death row, and which has caused tensions with her husband Jonathan (Wendell Pierce). After a harrowing botched procedure, her growing investment in the inmate who is next to be executed, Anthony (a mesmerizing Aldis Hodge), encourages her to take a long overdue look in the mirror… Clemency is an immersive, atmospheric film as well as a haunting, tough-minded inquiry into the dignity of work and the morality of capital punishment. New York Premiere