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Series of North American Screenings for 'The Abominable Crime'

Event Date:

March 31, 2016 | 12:00 AM EDT
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Jamaica has the reputation of being one of the most violently anti-gay countries on earth. Male...

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Multiple Authors
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The Abominable Crime embarks in late February 2016 on a month-long run of screenings with visits to universities and public gathering places in Canada and the United States. Pulitzer Center grantee Micah Fink and Jamaican human rights lawyer Maurice Tomlinson are on hand for several of the events.

On Saturday, February 27, 2016, The Abominable Crime is the culminating film for Massimadi, the LGBTQ and Afro-Canadian Film Festival in Montreal. This eighth edition of the festival runs February 16-February 27.

The next week, on Tuesday, March 1, the documentary screens at Cumner Avenue United Church in Toronto. Tomlinson, a human rights lawyer and central character in the film who was forced to flee Jamaica, will be on hand to discuss the film and answer questions.

Tomlinson next presents developments in LGBT rights in Jamaica during a visit to Connecticut College, which includes a screening of the film on Monday, March 7. The film screens at the University of Alberta on Thursday, March 10, where Tomlinson also will be involved in a "talk-back session."

On Thursday, March 31, Harvard University hosts Tomlinson and Fink, the filmmaker, to speak with audiences at the Office for the Arts Learning from Performers program, the Harvard Kennedy School Carr Center for Human Rights Policy-Sexuality, Gender and Human Rights Program, and the Harvard Divinity School. The day-long visit includes a screening of the documentary at the Harvard Divinity School.

The Abominable Crime explores the culture of homophobia in Jamaica through the eyes of gay Jamaicans who are forced to choose between their homeland and their lives. More than three years after its release, the film is increasingly having significant impact on discussions of homophobia in Jamaica, helped in part by the strong cultural tailwinds created by the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the legalization of gay marriage. It is also being widely used as a community engagement tool by activists and educators in Jamaica and around the world.

The film has been accepted into 24 film festivals, won five major awards, is translated into three languages and has been broadcast nationally in the United States and in Belize, a country currently struggling to address its legacy of anti-gay laws inherited from its colonial past. The film is able to be downloaded or rented from iTunes, Hulu, Amazon, YouTube and Vudu. In 2014, the film won Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival's inaugural Amnesty International Human Rights Prize for a Caribbean film that best highlights a human rights issue.

"The issues dealt with by The Abominable Crime are not just relevant to Jamaica, in which the film is set, but also internationally where laws are being enacted in many countries to inflict the most inhumane and violent penalties on same sex relationships. The jury is pleased to award the first Amnesty International Human Rights Prize at the Trinidad & Tobago Film festival 2014 to a well crafted, focused and loving film which should be seen widely in the region and the world: The Abominable Crime," Amnesty International wrote in a 2014 press release announcing The Abominable Crime as the winner of the first Amnesty International Human Rights Prize at Trinidad+Tobago Film Festival.

Screening at Massimadi
Saturday, February 27, 2016
7:00 PM
Banq Old Montreal
535 Viger Avenue E
Montreal, Québec, Canada

Screening at Cumner Avenue United Church
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Cumner Avenue United Church
53 Cummer Avenue
North York, Ontario, Canada

Screening at Connecticut College
Monday, March 7, 2016
Connecticut College
270 Mohegan Avenue Parkway
New London, Connecticut

Screening at University of Alberta
Thursday, March 10, 2016
5:00 PM
University of Alberta Law Center
Room 197
111 Street & 89 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Talks and Screening at Harvard University
Monday, March 31, 2016
Harvard University
Noon: Micah Fink, Office for the Arts Learning from Performers program
Noon: Maurice Tomlinson, Harvard Kennedy School Carr Center for Human Right Policy Sexuality, Gender and Human Rights program
3 PM – 5 PM: Screening of The Abominable Crime and discussion with Fink and Tomlinson, Harvard Divinity School
Cambridge, Massachusetts


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