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Confessions of an Innocent Man ONF/NFB


Catalogue Number:  NFB543756
Producer:  National Film Board Of Canada
Producers:  Terence McKeown, David Paperny, Tracey Friesen, Cal Shumiatcher, Trevor Hodgson, Catherine Tait, Rina Fraticelli
Directors:  David Paperny
Producing Agencies:  National Film Board of Canada (Montreal),Paperny Films (Vancouver)
Subject:  Canadian Politics, Criminal Justice & Law, Documentary, Politics, World History
Language:  English
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  2007
Running Time:  89:35
Closed Captions:  Yes


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Confessions of an Innocent Man, directed by Academy Award®-nominated David Paperny, is a raw exposé that examines William Sampson?s harrowing experience while imprisoned in Saudi Arabia for a crime he did not commit.

Sampson, who was working as a business consultant in Saudi Arabia at the time of his sudden arrest, belonged to a community of western ex-pats who worked hard and played hard. He, along with several other men, was charged with the terrorist bombing and murder of a fellow western ex-pat in December of 2000. With no evidence of his guilt, and despite pleading his innocence, Sampson was repeatedly tortured and received no counsel or visitation by his government until after his captors got what they wanted: a confession.

Bill Sampson?s shocking forced admission was broadcast around the world. He was then sentenced to death by public beheading but the cycle of physical and psychological violence would continue. Over time, Sampson?s prison behaviour grew increasingly bizarre. Rejecting various Canadian government envoys, and pushing away his father, he set out to make himself as offensive as possible to his captors. Sampson refused to be clothed. He destroyed his cell at every opportunity, and eventually smeared himself and the walls of his prison cell with his own excrement. It was these acts of defiance - despite the brutality and solitary confinement - that Sampson believes preserved his sanity.

Finally freed after a total of 31 months, one burning question remains unanswered: Where was the Canadian government, and why wasn?t more done to help? Today Sampson continues to fight to clear his name and hold the Saudi government accountable for his inhumane and illegal treatment.

Captured in high definition, Confessions of an Innocent Man is an unforgettable testament to one man's struggle to survive injustice, brutality, and the geo-politics that condone them.

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