Voices of a People's History
Voices of a People's History


New York, NY
October 18, 2008

The London premiere of Voices of a People’s History of the United States as part of a special evening at the Ritzy Brixton has sold out, in only two days.

Below are details on this star-studded event.

In Tribute to Anita Roddick
Ritzy Picturehouse, London – 23rd October 2008

Actor Colin Firth and producer Livia Firth, with activist Sam Roddick, are hosting an event in London to highlight the plight of political prisoners within the American judicial system. The night centres around the stories of Mumia Abu-Jamal and The Angola 3 – the latter being the longest known political prisoners held in solitary confinement. This event will coincide with the birthday of the late Dame Anita Roddick, who campaigned for the release of The Angola 3 up until her death in 2007.

The evening will comprise of powerful performance, poetry, film and song:

Performance: Voices of a People’s History of the United States
Considered to be the ‘Vagina Monologues’ of American political history. Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove have organised more than forty public readings of ‘People’s History…’ around the world with Sean Penn, Ben Affleck, Pink, Mos Def and John Legend to name a few. This event will see contributions from Colin Firth, Juliet Stevenson, Alan Rickman, Kelly Macdonald (Trainspotting), Ben Barnes (Chronicles Of Narnia), Ben Chaplin (Thin Red Line), Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Scarface), Elizabeth McGovern, and Megan Dodds (Hotel Babylon). www.peopleshistory.us

Beverley Knight will sing a Sam Cooke classic ‘A Change is Gonna Come’.

Screening: In Prison My Whole Life
A documentary by Marc Evans and William Francome, produced by Livia Firth, ‘In Prison My Whole Life’ studies the life of imprisoned political activist and former Black Panther member, Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has been on death row in Pennsylvania for the last 27 years for the alleged murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner. Mumia’s death sentence was overturned in 2001 due to errors made during his original 1982 sentencing hearing. Supported by Amnesty International, the film features Noam Chomsky, Mos Def and Snoop Dogg.

Panel Discussion:
Colin and Livia Firth, Sam Roddick and filmmaker William Francome with Amnesty International discuss issues surrounding the event, with Q&A.

Sam Roddick, the daughter of late Dame Anita Roddick and Founder of Coco de Mer has established a not for profit organization called ‘Bondage for Freedom’. Bondage for Freedom produced this event and is comprised of a collective of cutting edge creative thinkers, whose goal is to provide a FREE creative service for organizations that are fighting for human or environmental rights. Its goal is to instigate and encourage raw talent towards positive and effective action.

Roddick explains “We must exercise our freedom and fearlessly demand that governments and corporations operate with morality and compassion. Human rights should be placed before economic gain. Democracy has to be protected, we must never erode our rights for freedom even when we are threatened by fear. When one person is imprisoned for utilizing our democratic right to stand and voice out against governments and corporations their imprisonment is a threat to the freedom of us all. This is something that can’t be ignored – this evening is about the right to speak out and to inspire the individual to be empowered and help make the world a better kinder and more just place”

Livia Firth explains, “To have ‘Voices/The People Speak’, Sam Roddick’s ‘Bondage for Freedom’ and ‘In Prison My Whole Life’, this event is my dream come true. These amazing American political voices remind me that the power for change is within us all, it can’t happen without us. In the words of the late Dame Anita Roddick, “It is everyone’s responsibility to dissent, make their voice heard and to never stop asking questions”.

VOICES: In Tribute to Anita Roddick
23rd October 2008, 7.00pm – 10.30pm
Ritzy Picturehouse, Brixton Oval, Coldharbour Lane, London SW2 1JG
Tickets: £15 / £14 concessions / £12 Ritzy members
Tel: 0870 755 0062 / www.picturehouses.co.uk


Spokespeople Available For Comment
Colin Firth, Livia Firth and Sam Roddick will be available for comment through Bondage for Freedom. Contact Suki Dusanj on (0) 207 443 9700 or at theextortionist@bondageforfreedom.com

The Angola 3
The Angola 3 are Robert King Wilkerson, Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace who each arrived at Angola Prison as young men under various circumstances in the late 1960s. While inside prison, contact with members of the Black Panthers led to the creation of the first prison chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1971. The men then organized prisoners to build a movement within the walls to end systematic rape and violence and campaign for better living conditions. Robert King Wilkerson was exonerated by the state in 2001 and released after 29 years in solitary confinement. Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox are still prisoners in Angola Prison and are working to get released. In March 2008 they were moved after 36 years, from solitary confinement to a maximum security dormitory.

Visitation rights to Wallace and Woodfox have been passed on to Sam and Gordon Roddick since Anita’s death.

In Prison My Whole Life
Produced by Livia Firth and directed by Marc Evans ‘In Prison My Whole Life’ sees 25-year-old William Francome’s investigation into the arrest of Mumia Abu-Jamal, famed death-row prisoner and award-winning Black Panther journalist. Francome, born on the day of Mumia’s 1981 arrest, engages intellectuals, writers and musicians in an effort to expose the truth about justice in America for black activists in general and Mumia in particular. The energetic, poetic and deeply moving interviews raise questions about the repercussions and damage of racial injustice not only to those targeted, but also to the American culture itself.
www.myspace.com/inprisonmywholelife – holds a full list of UK screenings

Voices of a People’s History of the United States
Howard Zinn’s revelatory study of American history, as seen through the voices of dissenters and the disenfranchised, presented through powerful speeches, letters, poetry and song. www.peopleshistory.us

Bondage for Freedom
Bondage for Freedom is the activist arm of Sam Roddick’s Coco-de-Mer, www.coco-de-mer.com. A collective of cutting edge creative thinkers led by Sam Roddick, whose goal is to provide a FREE creative service for organizations that are fighting for human or environmental rights. Its goal is to instigate and encourage raw talent towards positive and effective action.