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Dee Hibbert Jones & Nomi Talisman

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Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman are Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning filmmakers who collaborate on documentary film and new media projects. Their collaborative works explore the ways power structures and politics impact everyday lives. Hibbert-Jones and Talisman’s filmic works illuminate how police and imprisonment have erroneously been made the solution to societal problems, including racism and mental health.

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Last Day of Freedom

Courtesy of the artists

Animated film | 32 minutes

This Academy Award-nominated animated documentary tells the anguished story of the relationship between brothers Manny and Bill Babbitt. The film shows Bill reporting Manny for having committed a crime, then follows the aftermath of Bill’s decision to stand by his brother in the face of war, crime, and capital punishment.

The film is a portrait of a man at the nexus of the most pressing social issues of our times—veterans’ care, mental health access, racism, and criminal justice—and points to the failures of society to provide adequate mental health treatment and support to veterans, relying instead on policing and imprisonment. As Bill states, in a society that uses the death penalty to solve its social problems, “we all have blood on our hands.”

Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman’s work is also featured in the following Barring Freedom study guide: From the Inside Out

Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman (based in San Francisco, CA) are filmmakers and internationally known artists. Their animated short documentary Last Day of Freedom was awarded a California Public Defenders Association Gideon Award and a Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Braintrust Award in recognition for their “outstanding national commitment to civil rights, and social justice.” The film won a Northern California Emmy, Best Short at the International Documentary Awards (IDA), and was nominated for an Academy Award. Their films have been supported by the IDA Enterprise Fund grant; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Cal Humanities Documentary Project Grant, and the Pacific Pioneer Fund, among others. Hibbert-Jones and Talisman are Guggenheim Fellows, MacDowell Colony Fellows, Creative Capital awardees, and recipients of the Filmmakers Award from The Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University.

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Suggested Reading

Haney, Craig

Death by Design: Capital Punishment As a Social Psychological System

Illustrated Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Rothstein, Richard

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

First edition. New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2017.

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