April 22 29, 2020
April 2229, 2020


independent film festival boston

IFFBoston Fall Focus 2019

Brattle Theatre

$13 General Admission
$11 IFFBoston & Brattle members, students, and seniors*

*Limited to one ticket per screening per membership card or Student ID. Tickets bought online must be verified with your valid membership card/ID at time of pick up at the Brattle Box Office. Member discount cannot be combined with other offers.

IFFBoston members get priority seating for all Fall Focus screenings.

Acclaimed as a “brilliant” and “heartbreaking” performance, Alfre Woodard’s work in CLEMENCY was a key part of why the film won a Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Under the skilled guidance of writer/director Chinonye Chukwu, Woodard provides a layered, nuanced portrait of a beleaguered prison warden that is best seen on the big screen.

Warden Bernadine Williams (Woodard) is a professional. She arrives at work every day to watch over death-row prisoners until they face execution or receive a rare, last-minute clemency. She takes her job seriously, doing her best to offer dignity to the men left isolated in her prison to contemplate what they did—or didn’t do. Even when a lethal injection procedure goes wrong and throws the inmate’s family into grief-stricken chaos, Bernadine never loses her cool. But when she goes home at night, she feels it.

Her husband Jonathan, played by Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Treme), is a schoolteacher still deeply in love with a wife who is growing harder and more distant. Anthony Woods (Aldis Hodge) is the next prisoner in line, and a complex man to reach. As his lawyer (Richard Schiff ) fights to prove Woods’ innocence before time runs out, Bernadine struggles to maintain the neutral calm that defines her job but threatens to destroy her marriage.

From roles in John Sayles’s PASSION FISH to Steve McQueen’s 12 YEARS A SLAVE to the occasional turn in Hollywood action fantasies (CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR), Woodard has always shown both gravitas and soul. Given the combination of a powerful leading role, Chukwu’s probing camera, and her own remarkable skill, this American treasure delivers one of the finest performances of the year.

—Toronto International Film Festival guide

Screening Supported by Roxbury International Film Festival

113 min.

Directed by:
Chinonye Chukwu

Alfre Woodard
Richard Schiff
Aldis Hodge
Wendell Pierce
Richard Gunn
Danielle Brooks

Sunday, November 33:00Brattle Theatre40 Brattle Street
Harvard Square

2019 Presenting Sponsors

With additional thanks and gratitude to all of our sponsors for this year's festival.

see all sponsors