"The People's Advocate" to Premiere at Mill Valley Film Festival in October
Documentary about famed Armenian-American criminal defense attorney
features interviews with some of the most influential political
figures of the 1960s and 70s.
MILL VALLEY, CALIF. (September, 2007) — The 30th annual Mill Valley
Film Festival will feature the world premiere of "The People's
Advocate: The Life & Times of Charles R. Garry." The feature length
documentary chronicles the gripping story of one of the twentieth
century's most influential civil rights attorneys, Charles Garry
(1909-1991), who gained national prominence during the 1960s for his
defense of notorious anti-establishment icons.
Remembered as the "defender of the despised," lawyer Charles Garry's
clientele list read like a "who's who" of the civil rights and
anti-war movements of the turbulent 1960s. His most famous clients –
Huey P. Newton and the leadership of the Black Panther Party – counted
on his unique courtroom style and unparallel legal approach to free
them of an array of serious charges leveled by the government. "The
People's Advocate" recounts Garry's inspirational story by weaving
powerful interviews with rare archival footage of him and his times.
Amongst the film's interviewees are famed historian Howard Zinn, and
Black Panther leaders Bobby Seale, Kathleen Cleaver, David Hilliard
and Ericka Huggins.
The documentary also features a candid interview with Stephan Jones –
son of Peoples Temple leader Jim Jones, who orchestrated the deaths of
over 900 of his followers in Jonestown, Guyana on November 18, 1978.
Garry, who was attracted to the Temple's philosophy and teachings,
agreed to serve as Jones's attorney during the year preceding the
incident. His involvement would prove to be the most tragic episode of
his life, as detailed vividly within "The People's Advocate."
The film will debut on Saturday, October 6th, when it screens at the
Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael as part of this
year's Mill Valley Film Festival program. The film will also be shown
at CineArts @ Sequoia in Mill Valley on Monday, October 8. Both
screenings are co-presented by the San Francisco Chapter of the
National Lawyers Guild and the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC).
"The People's Advocate," which is Los Angeles-based director Hrag
Yedalian's first film, is the recipient of the 2007 Bay Area Video
Coalition Mediamaker Award. Executive Producer Carrie Lozano
previously produced the Academy Award nominated documentary "The
Weather Underground" and directed the documentary short "Reporter
Zero," which premiered at the 2006 Berlin International Film Festival.
The film features an original score by Los Angeles-based trio The Apex
Theory that was composed in collaboration with Cinemasque Music.
Named by Screen International as a top ten US film festival, the Mill
Valley Film Festival was founded in 1978 and offers a high-profile,
prestigious and non-competitive environment perfect for celebrating
the best in independent and world cinema. More information about this
year's festival and detailed screening information for "The People's
Advocate" can be found at www.mvff.com.
A film synopsis, filmmaker biographies and a promotional trailer for
"The People's Advocate" can be accessed by visiting