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The Bronx International Film Festival - Bronx Week Screening
May 10, 2013
Bronx Library Center
USA | 2012| 0:13:58 | Narrative
Director: Randy Wilkins
In an eerily quiet courtroom hallway, Lois anxiously awaits the announcement of Docket 32357. Valerie, a successful retail buyer, rushes to take a seat next to Lois. Valerie desperately searches for her nicotine gum when Lois offers her a piece of candy. She accepts the offering, but continues to stress. While trying to give Valerie sage advice, a cascade of candy wrappers fall out of Lois' purse onto the floor. The two women relax. The ominous voice that bellows from the speaker sparks a conversation between Lois and Valerie. We discover that Valerie has two cats and is married to a man who hasn't moved on from the exciting, carefree days of his youth. Valerie didn't have much time to settle down for a family. Her career is her priority. Lois is a housewife with a fourteen year old son who she adores to no end. As the two women grow more comfortable with one another, they open up about their marriages. Lois is the good cop in the relationship. She always wanted her son to explore and learn about the world while Charlie, her husband, is stern and wanted to protect their boy from the ills of society. More times than not, Charlie won the battle ? Inspired by their conversation, Valerie offers her contact information to Lois so they could meet in a more intimate setting than a courtroom hallway. Lois accepts and mentions she'll have to find free time around her new job; a night custodian position to cover the hospital bills for her son. He was the victim of a drunk driver's hit and run. Valerie grows increasingly uncomfortable as the conversation continues. What the two women discover will change their lives moving forward. Docket 32357 is a drama that examines the need to overcome loneliness even from the most unexpected of places and how we feel once that opportunity is squandered.
Made in the Bronx (2006)
10 min -Documentary | Short
Director: Stephen Dypiangco
At Rocking The Boat, an after school program in the Bronx, high school students learn how to build a boat using their hands. This cinema verite documentary follows a group of students through the boatbuilding process from the very moment they learn to use the tools to the boat's completion several months later. Along the way, the students not only create something beautiful, but they also gain practical skills, form new friendships, and have fun.
"You Have the Right to an Attorney"
"You Have the Right to an Attorney" documents Matt and Scott, public defenders at the reputable defense firm The Bronx Defenders. Young and idealistic, Matt and Scott struggle on a daily basis to serve a never-ending tide of court-bound clients while hoping that their work might affect broader change in a system they consider broken.
In the South Bronx, a community known for high arrest and poverty rates, public defenders often have more than 100 open case files, each file representing a person in need. The attorneys must make difficult decisions about which clients to help first and which ones must wait, knowing that postponed cases could result in a lost job, eviction from home, or even deportation for a client.
The attorneys at The Bronx Defenders cut against the stereotype of the lazy, under-trained Public Defender. They hope to affect real change. They must negotiate everyday between clients' needs and the larger crusade against injustice, at times advising clients to plead guilty despite claims of innocence, to settle the case instead of fighting the charge.
The daily compromises and the endless flow of new clients weigh heavy on Matt and Scott. They feel guilt for not doing enough for their clients, and frustration at the futility of fighting a flawed system. "You Have the Right to an Attorney" watches their attempt to persevere, one case at a time.