IllinoisHumanities

True Conviction (Jamie Meltzer, 2017, USA, DCP, 84 min.)

Recent technological advances have put video cameras in almost every citizen’s pocket, but the stakes of turning the camera against the police remain high. Although narrative cinema and television have dramatized law enforcement since their inceptions, offering audiences the vicarious experience of detection, pursuit, and justice, the American justice system too often remains opaque to real-life scrutiny, a challenge which documentary filmmakers take on in this series. In Jamie Meltzer’s award-winning new documentary True Conviction, a group of exonerees-turned-detectives fight to overturn unjust convictions. Instead of oversight, this film proposes forms of what we might call undersight, exploring the possibility of using a camera to police the police from below.

Praised by Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, the founders and directors of the Innocence Project, Jamie Meltzer’s award-winning documentary explores the U.S. criminal justice system from a unique perspective. Christopher Scott, Johnnie Lindsey, and Steven Phillips had collectively spent 60 years in prison before being exonerated. After their releases, the trio formed a Dallas, Texas-based detective agency, focused on assisting others they believe to be wrongfully convicted of crimes. Meltzer chronicles the endless, mundane tasks necessary to unearth new leads; the wrenching, maybe-true-maybe-not stories of prisoners looking for help; and some unexpected moments of drama, as the three men, led by Scott, work to free others who were caught up in a system that too-often settles for resolution rather than justice.

Join us for a screening of this film. Jamie Meltzer and Christopher Scott will appear in person at this screening.

Doors open thirty minutes prior to showtime. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Block Cinema films are screened in the Block Museum’s Pick-Laudati Auditorium. See Directions and Parking for information on how to get to the Museum. Parking is free in the lot south of the Block after 4 p.m. weekdays and all day on weekend

This screening is co-sponsored by the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities. This film is part of Northwestern University Block Museum of Art’s Spring 2018 Block Cinema Program. Block Cinema is co-sponsored by Northwestern University’s MFA in Documentary Media program, the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, the Social Justice News Nexus at Medill, and the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.

For a complete list of the 2018 Spring line-up, visit blockmuseum.northwestern.edu.