Tribal Justice

NEW DOCS

Anne Makepeace’s beautifully photographed film introduces us to two dynamic Native American women who are reimagining conventional approaches to justice in California. As the chief judges for the state’s largest Indian tribes, Abby Abinanti (Yurok) and Claudette White (Quechan) have unobstructed views of the modern-day challenges that plague tribe members. In striking contrast with state-run courtrooms, these two judges tap Native American tradition and village wisdom to guide their rulings. Tribal justice allows for more interaction with defendants and urges healing and remediation over jail time and punishment. The system is so new the rules aren’t even clear. But it’s working. Tribal Justice, which took four years to make, follows the dramatic stories of several defendants deferred by the state to tribal court, where they’re given a chance to rebuild their lives. Among them is a meth addict who’s one strike away from 25 years in prison and a family of teenage brothers on probation. The strength of the judges’ system is tested. Not all will succeed.  RYS

Filmmaker Q&A following screening

Director

Anne Makepeace

Producer

Anne Makepeace

Executive Producer

Ruth Cowan

Editor

Russell Greene

Cinematographer

Barney Broomfield

Release Year

2017

Festival Year

2017

Country

United States

Run Time

87 minutes

Subtitled

No