Interview with Clemency filmmaker Chinonye Chukwu

Writer/director Chinonye Chukwu speaks with DPIC Senior Director of Research and Special Projects Ngozi Ndulue about her award-winning new film, Clemency. Chukwu discusses her inspiration for the story, the years-long process of research and immersion that helped her shape the narrative, and her hopes for how this film will be received.

Clemency stars Alfre Woodard as death-row prison warden Bernadine Williams and Aldis Hodge as death-row prisoner Anthony Woods. The film focuses on Bernadine, Chukwu explains, and “navigates her emotional and psychological down spiral as she prepares to execute … Woods.” Clemency won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for Drama at the Sundance Film Festival in February 2019, the first time the award has been given to a movie directed by an African-American woman.