Frame-Up! The Imprisonment of Martin Sostre
Director: Steven Fischler, Joel Sucher & Howard Blatt
USA / 1974 / 30 min
Last screened on Mon, Nov 9
Live introduced by Steven Fischler and Joel Sucher, followed by a Q&A moderated by Kazembe Balagun.
This examination of the case of Martin Sostre, a radical Black Puerto Rican bookstore owner in Buffalo, New York, who was framed on “narcotics, riot, arson, and assault” charges in 1967 and sentenced to prison, shows how the American justice system can be abused for purposes of political repression, and also how a film can serve as a vital force in fighting legal injustice. In finding a key witness who then agreed to publicly recant his testimony (which was coerced by the Sheriff of Erie County), Frame-Up!—made by Pacific Street Films and featuring exclusive in-prison interviews with Sostre—helped convince then New York Governor, Hugh Carey, to grant Sostre executive clemency.