Fritt Ord, Oslo Documentary Cinema and Vega Scene invite the public to a screening of Chelsea XY, a documentary film about Chelsea Manning and the most serious leak of secret US government documents ever. There will be a conversation with Nancy Hollander, Manning's former attorney, and psychologist Peder Kjøs, after the screening.
Time and place: Wednesday, 11 September 2019, 7 p.m. at Vega Scene. Tickets
Who is Chelsea Manning? Why did she do what she did, and what have the consequences been?
The film 'XY Chelsea' follows Chelsea Manning after she was released from prison in the spring of 2017. One of Obama's last acts before leaving the office of president was to commute her prison sentence from 35 to 7 years.
The film gives us the opportunity to hear Chelsea's side of the story, and to learn more about her past and why she did what she did.
Nancy Hollander was Chelsea Manning's attorney when her sentence was commuted, and she is one of the main characters in the film. She is an internationally recognised defence attorney who has taken on several highly controversial cases. Among many other cases, she has had two clients in Guantanamo Bay Prison. She has secured a release for one of them.
Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning) served as an intelligence analyst for the US Army in Iraq until 2010 when she was arrested for illegally walking off with an enormous trove of data, including secret files, which she then made public by sending them to Wikileaks.
This act was motivated by her belief that the material divulged grievous war crimes committed by the USA. The material included the infamous video that Wikileaks christened "Collateral Murder", depicting the murders of a group of civilians in Baghdad, including two journalists employed by Reuters.
In 2019, Chelsea Manning went back to prison. This time, it was because she refused to testify in a closed grand jury hearing against Julian Assange.
Manning refuses to testify because she does not want to give evidence in a secret forum, which is what the US authorities want her to do. She will appear only if her testimony is open to the public to see and hear what takes place. In principle, she may have to remain in prison until she agrees to testify, even if the testimony takes place in a closed forum, or until the case is closed, which may take a very long time.
In talking with Nancy Hollander after the film, we would like to discuss how well the film reflects Chelsea Manning as a person and what compelled her to risk her life to divulge information about war crimes.
We would also like to address the situation for whistleblowers in the US, as well as what Chelsea Manning's situation means for journalism and the right to notify about and report on war crimes and abuse on the part of the state.
About the film
Director: Tim Travers Hawkins.
United Kingdom, 2019, 92 minutes.
The film is in English. It will not be subtitled in Norwegian.
Link to the Facebook event for the screening