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A Conversation with Filmmakers Behind ‘The Reckoning’

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A Conversation with Filmmakers Behind ‘The Reckoning’

Posted by Laura Heaton and Maggie Fick on May 22, 2009





Crime and justice are popular subjects for movies, but rarely are they portrayed in a more compelling way than in The Reckoning. There’s a simple reason why this documentary is so captivating: it is a story about real life and about history in the making.

The Reckoning, an Official Selection at Sundance Film Festival this year, follows the first six years of the International Criminal Court and takes the audience from the court’s headquarters in The Hague, to the scenes of the crimes – in eastern Congo and northern Uganda – to the United Nations headquarters in New York, where the court has met some of its loudest critics. One might not expect a story about judicial processes to be so action-packed, but The Reckoning has a captivating way of weaving together the strong personalities of individuals into a gripping narrative, such as a young Ugandan woman who survived a rampage by the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army, passionate judges inspired by the work of establishing standards for global justice, outspoken critics of the court, and a dynamic lead prosecutor who has become the face of the struggle to bring justice to victims in Darfur.

The director and producer of The Reckoning, Pamela Yates and Paco de Onis, recently came to town for the Washington, D.C., debut of the film, shown before a packed house at the E Street Cinema. Maggie and I caught up with them the next day to talk more about the making of the documentary, the obstacles the court has faced since its inception in 2002, and about what they hope to accomplish with their outreach efforts.





Screenings of The Reckoning have been taking place all over the country, and the next stops on the tour include Santa Barbara, New York, and Nantucket. Click here for details about these film festival appearances, and mark your calendar for July 14th, when The Reckoning will air on PBS’s independent film program, P.O.V. Conversations about the film and the international justice movement more broadly are taking place on, film’s outreach hub, which features an interactive map that tracks what people around the world are saying on Twitter about international justice.

We’re keeping an eye on this film and the movement it is generating, so check this space for updates, including a blog post in the coming weeks from New York, where The Reckoning will be the featured film at the opening night of the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival.