Hollywood on the Potomac

by Janet Donovan

Double Exposure Festival: Screening of the first two episodes of the true crime docuseries“ The Preppy Murder: Death in Central Park”

The Naval Heritage Center
Photo Courtesy of AMC

Synopsis: AMC/Sundance’s five-part docuseries reexamines one of the most infamous crimes in recent American
history—the 1986 killing of Jennifer Levin by Robert Chambers—and examines the circumstances that made the story unfold the way it did: an all-out tabloid media war that blamed the victim, an imperfect justice system and the rarified lifestyle of New York’s privileged prep school kids. “What made this story ripe to revisit in this platform was that many of the elements that played out in the case of Robert Chambers are being echoed now, in the claims and cases against Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein and others. This was a way to examine how power, money and class and privilege can enable dangerous behavior, distort the truth and ultimately impact the criminal justice system.

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— Director Annie Sundberg

March on Washington Film Festival

Inaugural Awards
National Museum of Women in the Arts
Photo by Daniel Swartz

John Lewis and Peggy Wallace Kennedy

The March on Washington Film Festival, a national civil rights and social justice non-profit group, increases awareness of the untold events and unsung heroes of the Civil Rights Era and inspires renewed passion for activism. The Festival leverages the power of film, music, scholarship, and the arts to share these important stories. Nikki Giovanni, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, Rep. Terri Sewell and Dr. Joyce Ladner were honored.

“I really lived a life of quiet indifference and shut myself up behind the Alabama Governor’s Mansion gate. I never really expressed an opinion of any kind about my father’s politics. I realized later, as my children were growing up, that I did not want to have that legacy for them. That’s when in 2009, I walked across the Edmund Pettus bridge with John Lewis and realized that love and reconciliation can heal the human heart.

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That’s what I wanted to build my legacy on for my children—to know that their mother had found her own voice and that she was building a legacy for them to be proud of; that I was going to speak up and speak out on racial harmony and racial equality.”
— Peggy Wallace Kennedy
in a previous interview for her book

Screening of “Unbelievable”

Hart Senate Office Building
Photo by Lisette Azar/CBS

Synopsis: The Netflix series is the true story of Marie, a teenager who was charged with lying about having been raped, and the two female detectives who unravel the truth. “One of the things we all kept in mind was that we weren’t making this up. They were real people. I sort of told myself at some point you might get the opportunity to look these people in the eye and I want to be able to do that, knowing that I had treated their truth with respect and integrity and not with exploitation.

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— Creator-director Susannah Grant

Double Exposure Festival: Screening of “The Cave”

National Geographic Museum
Photo by Paul
Morigi/ Nat Geo

Feras Fayyad

Synopsis: In an unflinching story of the Syrian war, an underground hospital known as the Cave is where two female physicans claim their right to work as equals alongside male counterparts, doing their jobs in a way that would be unthinkable in the oppressively patriarchal culture that exists outside its walls. On getting the film shot with little WiFi connections and physical access: “How we got the material out was a guy took it to the streets and then uploadedit via satellite. Then we downloaded the material in Denmark or wherever. So, you actually were in one physical location; everybody else was in another. The cinematographers were inside the area and were directed from there.”
— Producer Sigrid Dyekjær

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