Experiencing Interruptions?

Last Day of Freedom

When Bill realizes his brother Manny has committed a crime he agonizes over his decision- should he call the police? Last Day of Freedom, a richly animated personal narrative, tells the story of Bill’s decision to stand by his brother in the face of war, crime and capital punishment. The film is a portrait of a man at the nexus of the most pressing social issues of our day – veterans’ care, mental health access and criminal justice

  • Dee Hibbert-Jones
  • Nomi Talisman
  • Dee Hibbert-Jones
  • Nomi Talisman
  • Fred Frith
    Rivers and Tides
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    31 minutes 50 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 19, 2015
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Academy Awards - Best Documentary Short Subject Nominee
    Los Angeles, CA
    February 28, 2016
    Nominee, Best Short Documentary
  • 45th Annual Northern California Area Emmy® Awards
    San Francisco
    June 4, 2016
    News and Program Specialty: Documentary -Topical
  • International Documentary Association - IDA
    Los Angeles, CA
    December 5, 2015
    Best Short Documentary Award
  • Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
    Durham, NC
    April 12, 2015
    Best Short Jury Award, Center for Documentary Studies (Duke University) Filmmaker Award
  • Hampton International Film festival
    East Hampton, NY
    October 10, 2015
    Best Short Documentary Awad
  • SF Doc Fest
    San Francisco, CA
    United States
    June 13, 2015
    Bay Area
    Best Short Audience Award
  • Dok Leipzig
    Leipzig, Germany
    October 31, 2015
    Honorable Mention, Best Animated Documentary
  • Tallgrass Film Festival
    Wichita, KS
    October 13, 2015
    Best Short Documentary Award
  • (In)Justice For All Film Festival
    Chicago, IL
    April 14, 2015
    Impact Award - Justice For All Award
  • Bar Harbor Film Festival, Maine
    Bar Harbor
    United States
    October 11, 2015
    Best Animated Short Doc
  • Atlanta Docufest
    Atlanta GA
    United States
    November 20, 2015
    Best Experimental Short
  • DC Independent Film Festival
    United States
    March 6, 2016
    Best Documentary Short
  • Raindance
    London UK
    United Kingdom
    September 30, 2015
    Nominee, Best Animated Short
  • Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
    Missoula, MT
    February 28, 2016
  • Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival
    Colorado Springs
    United States
    November 15, 2015
  • Flickers: Rhode IslandInternational Film festival
    Providence, RI
    August 7, 2015
    East Coast
  • St. Louis International Film Festival
    St. Louis, MO
    November 9, 2015
  • Irvine International Film Festival
    Irvine CA
    United States
    January 20, 2016
  • Newport Beach Film Festival
    Newport Beach, CA
    April 29, 2015
  • Monadnock International Film Festival
    Keene, NH
    United States
    April 16, 2016
  • Doc Edge, New Zeland
    Wellington and Auckland
    New Zealand
    May 22, 2016
    New Zealand
  • Gdansk DocFilm Festival
    June 23, 2016
Director Biography - Dee Hibbert-Jones, Nomi Talisman

Dee Hibbert-Jones & Nomi Talisman tell stories that bring to life larger issues of criminal justice and civic responsibility. We have collaborated since 2004, working on large-scale projects that look at how individuals manage larger political systems that directly impact them. We collaborate with the public creating projects through personal stories and symbolic gestures. We work in film, video and public forums using digital media (sound, video, programming and interactivity) film and drawing. We exhibit in film festivals, on the streets and in museums, working collaboratively in close contact with the communities our work serves.

Having grown up in countries that do not practice the death penalty, we bring a critical perspective to the American criminal justice system, in which we are frequently functioning as passive participants in a culture of violence and retribution that impoverishes our democracy. Hibbert-Jones is an Associate Professor of Art & New Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is also founder/co-director of the Social Practice Research Center at UCSC a collaborative arts research center with a focus on social concerns. Talisman works as freelance media maker, her media work with legal mitigation specialists enabled us to build relationships of trust with the prisoners and families whose stories are at the heart of Living Condition

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Last Day of Freedom began when Nomi came home with stories from her (then) day job working as a media specialist for a non-profit doing mitigation work for trials on capital cases. She described families struggling to manage feelings of shock, shame and fear after their loved ones were accused of a capital crime. Innocent family members trying to see the truth and understand what went wrong. We asked those families to tell their stories, to describe perspectives that are rarely, if ever heard.

We imagined back then almost four years ago that we would make a video installation exploring multiple families’ experiences, for exhibition in museums and galleries as we had done before. Then we met Bill, hearing his story we suddenly knew we had to make a linear documentary, to tell his complex and painful story of war veterans, PTSD, racism, the failures in the American criminal injustice system, family bonds and the death penalty.­

Initially we chose animation to retain the anonymity of several early storytellers, but as time went on and our film focused on Bill’s story we realized the power of animation to open up new perspectives. We wanted to bring viewers intimately close to Bill, to witness each tear and wrinkle, to evoke metaphors of loss and isolation, and document both the outer and interior lives of his remarkable, and terrible story. There are 32 thousand drawings in Last Day of Freedom, this project took longer than any other project we have undertaken, involved more drawing, edits, rewrites and generous support than anything we have ever created. It is, to date the work we are proudest of. We are deeply grateful to Bill Babbitt for his openness, love and generosity in sharing his story. And also to the other families we interviewed, we are still in the process of creating a site for their stories.

Dee Hibbert-Jones & Nomi Talisman
July 2015