Cyntoia Brown’s Long Walk To Freedom Will Be Profiled In New Documentary
One day after Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced he would grant Cyntoia Brown clemency, Odyssey Impact, a social justice media organization, announced plans to partner in the release of a documentary detailing Brown’s triumphant story titled, Me Facing Life 2: Cyntoia’s Fight For Freedom.
The film picks up where the 2011 documentary, Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story, trailed off, giving more fullness to the decade long fight for clemency, after she was convicted of murdering Johnny Mitchell Allen, a 43-year-old white man, who solicited her as a child sex worker. Cyntoia’s Fight For Freedom, is produced and edited by the same collaborators of the 2011 film, producer Daniel Birman and producer/editor Megan Chao. The project is slated for release in 2019.
Birman and Chao have followed Brown since her arrest in 2004 to gather gather footage and interviews with some of Brown’s closest supporters including family, Brown’s former prosecutor who is now her mentor, her legal team, supporting advocates and key legislators.
Odyssey Impact partnered with the makers of the film in an effort to highlight awareness concerning the same issues that affected Brown’s case and countless others which include the juvenile criminal justice system and tightening laws which try minors as adults which will be backed by a social media engagement campaign.
“The goal of Odyssey’s campaign is to inspire change that would end the practice of trying and sentencing juveniles as adults, which still exists in five states—Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Texas and Wisconsin—and to push for wider reforms, since all states have transfer laws that allow young offenders to be prosecuted as adults for more serious offenses, regardless of their age,” a statement from the organization reads.
“This is a story that touches many important social themes, from our understanding of child development to the inconsistent manner by which we punish youth. America is a leader of the free world, yet the strictest when it comes to incarcerating our children,” said Daniel Birman, producer, director and writer. “Through Cyntoia’s story, we have a chance to look more closely and with better understanding at the complicated factors involved. By partnering with Odyssey Impact, we can do as much as possible to elevate awareness in ways that lead to real action and change in our country and beyond.”
Brown was 16-years-old when she shot Allen and has claimed since her arrest that she acted in self-defense. She was tried as an adult and sentenced to life in prison, with a possibility of parole after serving at least 51 years. Since On Monday that conviction that was overturned on Monday which will allow Brown to be released on August 7. She will remain under supervised parole for 10 years, pointing to another area where social justice advocates want reform.
And while her case caught national attention last year, local justice advocates have been working to vindicate Brown’s case since the beginning. Celebrities like Rihanna and T.I., have helped to spread awareness about Brown after her story went viral in 2017.