Adapted from the classic American novel, To Kill a Mockingbird has stood as a testament to the ability and necessity of film to explore themes of injustice, racial prejudice, and the law’s role in society.
Senior U.S. District Judge John F. Keenan, director Cecilia Peck, and film critic Stuart Klawans, joined FOLCS for a screening and discussion of To Kill a Mockingbird.
Honorable John F. Keenan
Honorable John F. Keenan was appointed United States District judge for the Southern District of New York in 1983. He received a B.B.A. degree from Manhattan College in 1951 and his LL.B. from Fordham University Law School in 1954, having received the award on graduation for excellence in inter-law school moot court competition. He served as an Assistant District Attorney for New York County (1956–1976); as Administrative Assistant District Attorney (1974); Chief Assistant District Attorney (1974– 976); Chief Assistant District Attorney for Queens County (1973); Deputy Attorney General, Special Prosecutor for Investigation into Corruption in the Criminal justice System of New York City (1976–1976); Chairman and President, New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation (1979–1982); and Criminal Justice Coordinator for the City of New York (1982–1983).
Cecilia Peck recently directed and produced, with Barbara Kopple, the feature-length documentary Shut up & Sing, which chronicles the political backlash against the Dixie Chicks following their criticism of President Bush just prior to the invasion of Iraq. The film, short listed for the 2007 Academy Awards, was awarded best documentary by the Boston Society of Film Critics and the San Diego Film Critics, among other awards and nominations.
Cecilia produced and directed Justice For All, an examination of the capital punishment system, which was awarded the Silver Gavel Award. She was Associate Producer on Defending Our Daughters, a nonfiction film about women’s human rights for Lifetime Television, which was honored with the Voices of Courage Award by the Women’s Refugee Committee. Her documentary credits as producer include A Conversation with Gregory Peck, a Special Selection in the 2000 Cannes Film Festival.
As an actress, she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her performance in The Portrait. She also studied dance with Martha Graham and performed in “American Document,” the last ballet choreographed by Miss Graham.
The Nation‘s film critic Stuart Klawans is author of the books Film Follies: The Cinema Out of Order (a finalist for the 1999 National Book Critics Circle Awards) and Left in the Dark: Film Reviews and Essays, 1988–2001. His film criticism and reviews for The Nation won the 2007 National Magazine Award. When not on deadline for The Nation, he contributes articles to the New York Times and other publications.