Mississippi Innocence screened last weekend at The Crossroads Film Festival in Jackson, Mississippi. On Friday night Levon Brooks was present to receive the “Transformative Award”, an award envisioned by former Crossroads Festival board member, Deborah Wright, that is given to the film “that has the ability to transform opinions, lives, and ultimately, history.”
“The 2011 Oxford Film Festival came to a close last Sunday night, and now the ballots for audience favorite are in. Mississippi Innocence, the non-competition documentary by filmmaker Joe York, took home the top prize for overall audience favorite. Two years in the making and produced with Tucker Carrington and the Mississippi Innocence Project at the UM School of Law, Mississippi Innocence tells the compelling story of Levon Brooks and Kennedy Brewer, two men who combined spent over thirty years behind bars for crimes they didn’t commit.”
Kim Voynar of Movie City News reports her impression of Mississippi Innocence as “compelling” and “deeply moving”:
“Outside the docs competition, I caught a number of good films. The very compelling doc Mississippi Innocence, directed by Joe York, played to several sold-out crowds. The film follows the entertwined tale of Levon Brooks and Kennedy Brewer, both convicted of the rape and murder of 3-year-old girls. one was sentenced to death, the other to life in prison, based on questionable “expert” testimony. Both of them, as it turned out, were innocent, and it was only through rapid progress in the field of DNA testing and the passionate involvement of the people behind The Innocence Project that they were finally exonerated.
Mississippi Innocence is blessed with deeply moving subject matter — imagine yourself, knowing you’re innocent, being accused of such a horrific crime, judged by the courts and the court of public opinion, sentenced to die for someone else’s crime, sitting on death row for more than a decade of your life. No, really. Imagine it. It was more moving still, then, to watch Kennedy Brewer dancing and enjoying the Friday night party at Roosters, where blues great T Model Ford was performing.”
Read the entire Oxford Film Festival Review on the Movie City News site.