Clemency. 2019. USA. Written and directed by Chinonye Chukwu. With Alfre Woodard, Wendell Pierce, LaMonica Garrett. 103 min.
Winner of the Jury Prize in the US 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 years working on death row have exacted a psychic toll and caused tensions with her husband Jonathan (Wendell Pierce). After a harrowing botched execution, 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 a haunting, tough-minded inquiry into the dignity of work and the morality of capital punishment. Courtesy NEON.