John Brown's Body

John Brown's Body
March 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
7:30 p.m.

$9 (complimentary hors d'oeuvres provided)

At the Variety Screening Room
582 Market Street, #101
(@2nd Street and the Montgomery Street BART)

To attend, please RSVP by noon on Tuesday, March 12th to

John Brown's Body
Directed by Joe De Francesco

San Quentin, like almost any prison in America, is marked by racial tension and violence. And yet in 2002, filmmaker Joe De Francesco convinced reluctant prison officials to let him direct inmates in a production of “John Brown’s Body” — a play that, within prison walls, had the potential to be as incendiary as the eponymous abolitionist whose violent raids polarized pre-Civil War America.

10 years later, Joe De Francesco’s “John Brown’s Body” speaks about prison and the play with the production’s participants — some of whom are still behind bars, others who are re-assembling their lives after their release. Did the play change anything at San Quentin? How does the question of race figure in their lives today? And to what degree do they see their world differently from when they first stepped inside their cells?

De Francesco’s incisive documentary probes these questions, while offering a new glimpse at how those torn by the legacy and reality of racism might be able to begin again.

Moderator: Eugene Corr
Eugene Corr is a writer and director of films and television whose credits include the Academy Award-nominated Waldo Salt: A Screenwriter’s Journey,” (co-written/directed with Robert Hillmann); the critically acclaimed independent film “Desert Bloom,” starring Jon Voight and AnnaBeth Gish (Cannes Film Festival); numerous episodic television, as a director, including “Miami Vice,” “Crime Story,” and “I’ll Fly Away”; and more recently, as a writer, the documentary “Butte, America” (Independent Lens, PBS, 2009). He is currently finishing post-production on a feature documentary “Ghost Town to Havana.”


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