The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

The Exile Nation Project: An Oral History of the War on Drugs & the American Criminal Justice System

New York City Premiere May 6th


The Downtown Community TV Center will host the New York City premiere screening of The Exile Nation Project, a documentary by award-winning journalist, Charles Shaw, on May 6 at 7 p.m. There will be a reception preceding the screening and Q & A to follow with the director Charles Shaw and people featured in the film including Christian Parenti, Julie Holland, M.D., Anthony Papa, Eric Sterling, Dimitri Mobengo Mugianis, Daniel Pinchbeck and Nicole Benisch.

The documentary is a collection of testimonials from people formally incarcerated, family members, and experts on America's criminal justice system. The film puts a human face on the millions of Americans subjugated by the U.S. drug war.

The film points out that the "Land of the Free" punishes or imprisons more of its citizens than any other nation. The United States has only five percent of the world's population, yet 25 percent of the world's prisoners. At 2.5 million, the US has more prisoners than even China, with five times the population of the United States. Eight million Americans (1 in every 31) languish under some form of state monitoring known as "correctional supervision." On top of that, the security and livelihood of over 13 million more has been forever altered by a felony conviction.

"When 20% of a nation's adult population (65 million) cannot pass a background check to gain employment--and a majority of those because of drug arrests--you have got a runaway criminal justice system that is piling up insurmountable social costs," said director Charles Shaw. "You will meet some of these disenfranchised people in The Exile Nation Project and learn about the human side of the drug war. When the stories hit home, people get involved, and policy can finally begin to change. It is my greatest hope that once these voices find a broader audience, Americans will feel compelled to pressure the government to change these unfair policies and end the era of prohibition and mass incarceration."

What: New York premiere of Exile Nation
When: Friday May 6, 7p.m.-11p.m.
Where: Downtown Community Television Center, 87 Lafayette St., NY, NY 10013

A limited number of tickets will be available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis, but seating is limited, so advance purchase is recommended.

Suggested Donation: $10 - $30 (sliding scale)

View the trailer: