Biblioteca JB

Dead Man Walking

Dead Man Walking is a 1995 American crime drama film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn, and co-produced and directed by Tim Robbins, who adapted the screenplay from the non-fiction book of the same name. Sister Helen Prejean establishes a special relationship with Matthew Poncelet (played by Sean Penn), a prisoner on death row in Louisiana, acting as his spiritual adviser after carrying on correspondence with him.

Matthew Poncelet has been in prison for six years, awaiting his execution by lethal injection for killing a teenage couple. Poncelet, held in the Louisiana State Penitentiary, committed the crimes with a man named Carl Vitello, who received life imprisonment. As the day of his execution comes closer, Poncelet asks Sister Helen, with whom he has corresponded, to help him with a final appeal.
 
She decides to visit him. He is arrogant, sexist, and racist, not even pretending to feel any kind of remorse. He affirms his innocence, insisting Vitello killed the two teenagers. Convincing an experienced attorney to take on Poncelet's case pro bono, Sister Helen tries to have his sentence commuted to life imprisonment. After many visits, she establishes a special relationship with him. At the same time, she gets to know Poncelet’s mother, Lucille, and the families of the two victims. The families do not understand Sister Helen's efforts to help Poncelet, claiming she is "taking his side." Instead they desire "absolute justice"—his life for the lives of their children.
 
Sister Helen’s application for a pardon is declined. Poncelet asks Sister Helen to be his spiritual adviser through the day of execution, and she agrees. Sister Helen tells Poncelet that his redemption is possible only if he takes responsibility for what he did. Just before he is taken from his cell, Poncelet admits to Sister Helen that he killed the boy and raped the girl. As he is prepared for execution, he appeals to the boy's father for forgiveness and tells the girl's parents he hopes his death brings them peace. Poncelet is executed and later given a proper burial. The murdered boy's father attends the ceremony still filled with hate, but shortly after begins to pray with Sister Helen, ending the film.
 
Clasificación [ CM DVD 00574] Disponible en DVD, 4 Piso BJB)