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Oscar-nominated documentary looks at life after the death penalty

Excerpt from Last Day of Freedom. lastdayoffreedom.net

The short documentary film "Last Day of Freedom" came out last year to almost universal acclaim. It won "Best Short" at the International Documentary Association awards and is now up for an Oscar.

The animated film uses 32,000 hand-drawn images to tell the story of Bill Babbitt, whose brother Manny was executed at San Quentin in 1999, and touches on hot button issues like racism, the treatment of veterans, mental health care, and the death penalty. The San Francisco-based creators of the film, Nomi Talisman and Dee Hibbert-Jones, sat down with KALW's Jen Chien to talk about how they made it.

HIBBERT-JONES: These isolated scenes, which are Bill's lonely movement through time, always kind of going towards San Quentin, to witness his brother's execution

"Last Day of Freedom" can be seen in theaters as part of the 2016 Oscar-Nominated shorts program.

Jen Chien was the managing editor for Crosscurrents and KALW News from 2016 to 2018. She has been a contributor to All Things Considered, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, BBC/PRI’s The World, Making Contact, SF Public Press, East Bay Express, New America Media, and KPFA in Berkeley, where she took part in the First Voice Apprenticeship Program. She is the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Emerging Journalist Award from the Society of Professional Journalists of Northern California. She holds a BA in American Studies from Smith College, and an MA in Interdisciplinary Performance from New College of California. Before entering the field of journalism, she had a successful career as a professional dance and theater artist, teacher, and massage therapist.