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‘Eye-opening’ documentary to screen tonight

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People often misunderstand the reason behind Judith Chamber's group.

The Economic Empowerment News Association has nothing to do with developing Bermuda's economy, or sharing the news of the day.

“My interest is in economic empowerment,” she said. “It arose from a conversation I had with a good friend. We would talk about economic empowerment and economic freedom and building businesses and how it would be nice to see more people doing that — collaborating, collectives, and just coming together and encouraging and fostering that among people who are most in need of empowerment.”

More than 900 people have joined the EENA since it started on Facebook two years ago. Ms Chambers is always on the lookout for issues relevant to those who feel “disempowered” or “dispossessed”.

It's what drew her to The 13th, a Netflix documentary that looks at forced labour within the American prison system.

“The title comes from the 13th amendment to the US constitution that abolished slavery, but it retained the ability for people to still be slaves, if they were criminals,” she said.

“I had always heard that there are still slaves but until this film I hadn't really realised that it was actually on the law books out there.”

The “hard-hitting” and “eye-opening” film by Ava DuVernay will screen at Bungalow 56 tonight.

Ms Chambers was eager to share it even though the issues in it aren't ones we face here.

“I'm a paralegal and I routinely see people who have been the victims of various wrongs,” she said. “People frequently are fearful of speaking out about certain things and I believe the main reason for that is economic fear. “With economic power comes true freedom. That's what attracted me to that film — it's the reverse of that. It's showing these people who are imprisoned. What this film centres around is primarily the prison industry; the film itself refers to it as an industry, where in particular black men are incarcerated. It talks about the school-to-prison route and they are used effectively as slaves. All of these people have had their power taken away from them. It can't get any worse than that.”

Bungalow 56 owner Glen Wilks said EENA's message was aligned with his business practice.

“We can shed light on some of these systems through film or whatever,” he said. “It's part and parcel of what our mandate is, to share information and to spread that kind of positive message.”

The 13th will screen at 7.30pm at 56 Reid Street. Doors open at 6.30pm for cocktails and cake.

There will be a discussion period for those who wish to stay on.

Judith Chambers (Photograph by Nadia Hall)
Judith Chambers (Photograph by Nadia Hall)

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Published March 02, 2017 at 9:33 am (Updated March 02, 2017 at 9:33 am)

‘Eye-opening’ documentary to screen tonight

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