Interview with an Executioner
(13 minutes) USA
Directors: Ken Russell and Nancy Brown
Producer: Terry McCaffery
Interview with an Executioner gives us Don Cabana, from his days as a warden at Parchman Penitentiary in Mississippi to his anti-death penalty work thirty years later. Cabana describes the emotional pain of carrying out executions, and in one particular case, the near-certainty that he executed an innocent man. While Cabana was a prison warden, the BBC filmed a documentary about the inmate Edward Earl Johnson. That documentary went behind the scenes in the penitentiary to the mysterious, secretive world of the execution process. Warden Cabana appears in the ë70s BBC film as an earnest and hardworking man doing his job. In the present day, Interview with an Executioner reveals the feelings we didnít know were under the surface. It allows us to consider that in the executionerís mind there can be doubts, remorse, and a questioning of the fairness of executions. Cabana reveals how he could not reconcile his Catholic faith with the dirty work of an executioner.
Nancy Brown is an award-winning video producer and San Francisco Bay Area editor, television producer, studio engineer, and lighting technician. She teaches video and TV production to adults and young people. Nancy holds a Masterís degree in communication as a graduate of Stanford's Documentary Film and Video program. Her work appears in The Art of Being Tuareg, a Cantor Arts Center exhibit opening in Los Angeles in October (2006) at the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History.
Ken Russell is a former television producer and instructor in Palo Alto. He served on the Palo Alto Human Relations Commission and was a legislative assistant for the ACLU in Sacramento. He is currently a student at John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
©2006 United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF)