Theatrical premiere:
Anthology Film Archives,

Television premieres:
The Sundance Channel,
Channel 4 television,

Festival premieres:
Human Rights Watch
Film Festival
Walter Reade Theater
Lincoln Center

IDFA - International Documentary Film Festival

Tempo Documentary
Film Festival

Oslo International
Film Festival


New York Post The New York Times Daily Variety New England Film The Village Voice

New England Film

"Justifiable Homicide"

On a smaller scale but no less powerful, is Jon Osman’s excellent "Justifiable Homicide," an account of one woman’s struggles to bring her son’s killers to justice. Antonio Rosario and his cousin Hilton Vega, two teenage boys from the Puerto Rican community of the Bronx, were killed in early 1995 by police officers during a supposed robbery attempt. One of the police officers had been a volunteer bodyguard for then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani. The newspapers are quick to vilify the boys, describing them as nothing more than common thugs who deserved their fate. But Margarita Rosario knows here son was nothing of the sort. Fighting despair, she begins to press the authorities for answers.
"Justifiable Homicide" details her search, as she eventually finds her way to the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), an independent office of the city government. Splicing interviews with Margarita, CCRB staff, and valuable witnesses with evidence from variety of sources, Osman slowly builds up a convincing case against the policemen and proceeds up the ladder of responsibility for the cover up to Mayor Giuliani himself. He juxtaposes this crime story with Margarita’s growing political awareness, as she evolves from a passive Giuliani supporter to an active protestor and founder of Parents Against Police Brutality. Details slowly unfold, evidence builds upon evidence, building momentum all the while. Osman’s film simultaneously evokes both the anguish of knowing that the government is capable of utter wrongdoing and the hope of knowing that citizens will always find ways to resist and expose injustice. "Justifiable Homicide" grips, shocks, outrages, and uplifts -- a remarkable achievement. Essential viewing.

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