True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality (2019)

Bryan Stevenson,
True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality is a movie starring Bryan Stevenson, Christy Stevenson, and Howard Stevenson. A look at how Alabama attorney Bryan Stevenson struggles to create more fairness in the legal system.
  • 8.3 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2019-05-16 Added:
  • Writer:
  • George Kunhardt, Peter W. Kunhardt, Teddy Kunhardt, Director:
  • Maya Mumma, Producer:

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10 / 10

until America acknowledges this, will ALWAYS be a stain

All of my friends should watch this. The absolute ongoing animalistic way that they treated people, and to this day still commit atrocities on some level. Mass incarceration, inequitable sentencing, unfair housing practices, sabotaging careers, it never stops. Just awful. Imagine this being done to you and your loved ones, and having to still make it through life.

10 / 10

America could learn a lot from Germany

Bryan Stevenson: There's a history of untold cruelty that hides in silence in this country. This documentary was a little hard to watch but it might help some understand the need to treat mass incarceration as an urgent human rights issue. And we could learn a lot from Germany if we truly wanted to change. Because of their history of concentration camps, Germany outlawed the death penalty. They think it's unconscionable with that history of killing people to ever again have state-sanctioned killing. They paid reparations to Israel and made many attempts (still do!) to reconcile with their victims. For doing that, Germany has prospered economically, fostered a culture of fairness and is one of or the most respected countries in Europe.

9 / 10

Remarkable, Important

The rating path for this film will certainly speak to the subject of the film.

Very touching, moving and well made. Manages what politics doesn't, to give new life to a very old narrative.

Thank you, Bryan.

9 / 10

"Just Mercy" vs. "True Justice": and the winner is...

"True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality" (2019 release; 101 min.) is a documentary about Bryan Stevenson's life and work. As the movie opens, we are at the "US Supreme Court, October, 2018" where Stevenson is arguing yet another death row inmate case. The movie then shifts and we have Stevenson addressing the camera, as he talks about an early youth memory, describing an incident when he and his sister jump in the pool at a Disney World hotel, and everyone else (all white) leaves the pool angrily. "What is wrong?" asks young Bryan. "YOU are wrong" responds a guy (adding the N word for good measure). The movie then jumps to "Montgomery, Alabama" in the mid-80s when recent Harvard Law graduate Stevenson arrives there. He starts the Equal Justice Initiative on a wing and a prayer, determined to assist death row inmates unjustly convicted... At this point we are less than 15 min. into the movie.

Couple of comments: this is the latest film from the Kunhardt brothers ("King In the Wilderness", "John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls"). Here they shine the limelight on longtime activist Bryan Stevenson, who against all odds establishes his social justice law practice in the most hostile of places, Montgomery, AL, with its illustrious history of systemic racism and bigotry. For much of the film, Stevenson brings the story of how this country (up to and including the Supreme Court) allowed slavery, then public lynching, then legal lynching. "The North won the Civil War, but the South won the narrative war" observes Stevenson, and it's hard to argue with that. And just when you think that there isn't a glimmer of hope for social equality, Stevenson and his colleagues at the Equal Justice Initiative manage to change the legal landscape, somewhat. The movie follows in particular the case of McMillan, wrongly convicted of killing a white woman in the 80s. You may recall that also last year, there was a movie called "Just Mercy" (based on the Stevenson memoir of the same name, and starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx). The movie was well intended but dreadfully uneven. So if there is a contest between the documentary "True Justice" and the film "Just Mercy" as to which one is the better, it's not close, not even by a mile or two: "True Justice" brings true justice as to the life and work and legacy of Bryan Stevenson. The documentary takes on even greater importance in this day and age of George Floyd and the massive reaction in this country, demanding racial justice and a stop to police brutality.

I saw "Just Mercy" in the theater, but somehow missed "True Justice" when it premiered on HBO last year. Thankfully I now caught it on HBO On Demand. If you have any interest in the issue of race relations and social injustice in this country, RUN, don't walk, and see this documentary. I am quite certain that you will agree with me this is a must-see film, period.

10 / 10

Hopefully this doc becomes school curriculum

This documentary tells in a cohesive, thoughtful and intelligent way, how and why injustices from the past are still present today. An important documentary that I know I will watch again and again.