Years after the 10-year conflict in Sierra Leone ended in 2002, senior rebel leader Issa Sesay was put on trial for his role in the incident. Emmy-nominated filmmaker Rebecca Richman Cohen was there capturing the views of prosecution and defense alike, including Sesay himself. Her award-winning documentary on the court proceedings, “War Don Don” (“The War Is Over”), premieres on the WORLD Channel, , at /10 pm PT—the third episode of “AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange.” The sixth season of the public television series on contemporary life throughout the African Diaspora is hosted by acclaimed actor Anthony Mackie (“8 Mile,” “The Hurt Locker” and “Pain & Gain.”) Additional episodes of the series, which is produced by National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) and co-presented by American Public Television (APT), premiere weekly on the WORLD Channel through ; in February 2014, the program will be distributed to additional public television stations nationwide by American Public Television (APT).
Was Sesay a war criminal or a peacemaker? This is the question that Cohen’s film addresses in examining the U.N. Special Court trial of Sesay. Prosecutors say Sesay committed horrific atrocities, but his supporters claim he brought peace to the country. “War Don Don” is a film that ultimately puts international justice itself on trial. The film was nominated for two Emmys and won prizes at the South by Southwest Film Festival (Special Jury Award), Independent Film Festival Boston (Karen Schmeer Award for Excellence in Documentary Editing) and Human Rights Watch Film Festival New York (Cinereach Award), among others.
For more information on “AfroPoP,” visit www.blackpublicmedia.org.
ABOUT THE HOST
Anthony Mackie is an American television, feature film and stage actor. The Juilliard School’s Drama Division graduate was first discovered playing the role of Tupac Shakur in the off-Broadway production “Up Against the Wind.” Shortly thereafter, he made an auspicious film debut as Eminem’s nemesis, Papa Doc, in Curtis Hanson’s “8 Mile.” His performance caught the attention of Spike Lee, who cast Mackie in the 2004 Toronto Film Festival’s Masters program selection “Sucker Free City” and “She Hate Me.” He also appeared in Clint Eastwood’s Academy Award-winning “Million Dollar Baby,” opposite Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman and Eastwood. Additional film roles include “We Are Marshall”; “Half Nelson,” with Ryan Gosling; “Night Catches Us,” opposite Kerry Washington; “The Adjustment Bureau,” which also featured Matt Damon and Emily Blunt; “Real Steel,” with Hugh Jackman; “Gangster Squad,” where he shared the screen with Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone, and Ryan Gosling; “Pain & Gain,” with co-stars Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson; and “Runner, Runner,” alongside Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlake and Gemma Arterton. Mackie earned IFP Spirit Award nominations for his performances in Rodney Evans’s “Brother to Brother” and Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker.”
His theatrical credits on and off Broadway include “Drowning Crow,” “McReele,” “A Soldier’s Play,” and “A Behanding in Spokane.” Earlier, his Broadway debut was as the stuttering nephew, Sylvester, alongside Whoopi Goldberg in August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” He won an Obie Award for his role in Carl Hancock Rux’s “Talk.”
Mackie will soon join the Marvel Comics family playing Sam Wilson/the Falcon in the upcoming “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” set to be released on .