Porter is one of our most empathic nonfiction storytellers. Her debut movingly captures the warrior spirit of three indefatigable public defenders in Georgia as they weather heartbreaking losses and narrow victories, dejected but not yet broken.
- Matthew Eng, Tribeca News
“The soldiers of GIDEON'S ARMY, Dawn Porter’s stirring debut docu, are public defenders — lawyers who dedicate themselves to representing the indigent, and regularly answering the question, 'How can you defend those people?' Like the film itself, Porter’s handful of devoted, charismatic attorneys do a righteous job of reminding people that the accused are innocent until proven guilty, and that the criminal justice system seems otherwise disposed."
"In this study of exceptional grace under extreme pressure, a trio of public defenders makes considerable personal sacrifices to shield their indigent clients from the full weight of the judicial system."
- Deadline Hollywood
"Long hours, low pay, and criminal clients are commonplace for public defenders Travis Williams, Brandy Alexander, and June Hardwick, young African American lawyers profiled in this eye-opening documentary… Good way to begin discussions about the legal system. Recommended for young adults readers."
- Candace Smith, Booklist Online
"A sober and quietly devastating documentary, this is Highly Recommended… The inequities of America's justice system are highlighted in Dawn Porter's excellent HBO-aired documentary GIDEON'S ARMY, which focuses on the work of public defenders who toil relentlessly on behalf of clients unable to afford legal counsel."
- F. Swietek, Video Librarian Magazine
"GIDEON'S ARMY is the most honest portrayal of American public defenders to date. But it’s what remains unsaid that offers the most compelling argument for criminal-justice system reform. Public defenders are hard-working and well-educated. If life is hard for them, if there aren’t changes to the system, how much hope can their clients have?"
- R.L. Nave, Jackson Free Press
"HBO's most illuminating crime drama since THE WIRE…"
- Village Voice
"…essential… gripping and beautiful…"
- Esquire Magazine
- The Hollywood Reporter
"Highly Recommended. Dawn Porter’s powerful and heart-wrenching feature-length documentary looks at the trials and tribulations of public defenders... Grossly overloaded with court cases, Travis Williams, Brandy Alexander, and June Hardwick represent but three of the 15,000 public defenders assigned to serve millions of clients."
- Monique Threatt, EMRO