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CHAINS

LOGLINE:  FRAMED for murder by MAFIA COPS in the most notorious case of NYPD police CORRUPTION, Barry Gibbs was released from prison after serving two decades for a crime he did not commit only to discover that his nightmare had just begun. This is the unbelievable true story of Barry’s life after EXONERATION, a man who left prison with nothing and became a MILLIONAIRE. 

 
 
 
 
 
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You can take the man out of prison, but you can't take prison out of the man ... 

SYNOPSIS: Barry Gibbs will never get the images of prison out of his head. Even though he has won the largest wrongful conviction settlement in New York City’s history, he is no lottery winner. After 19 years behind bars, prison took everything from Barry - his family, his health, his life savings, even his sanity – all he has left is his story. 

This is the story of Barry’s life after prison, the struggle to reclaim the life that was stolen from him when NYPD detectives, moonlighting for the mob, framed him for murder, and changed his life forever. It is the story of Barry’s fight for freedom, not as a prisoner but as a free man, a man who emerged from this harrowing experience, and demanded accountability for what was done to him. Destitute and alone, Barry would spend years fighting the City and State of New York, only to discover that no amount of money can unlock the CHAINS prison leaves behind, and while the past cannot be undone, making his story known is the only way it all becomes bearable.

This personal account is the ultimate testimony for a man who never got to testify on his own behalf, and it is the first true look at the devastation caused by wrongful imprisonment. Shot over a ten-year period, this film forces us to walk in Barry’s shoes for the decade after his release because to truly understand this experience is to live it.  An intensely character-driven, verite, narrative, this is an unprecedented perspective on the aftermath of wrongful incarceration - not of the next day, or week, or month, but of the brutal reality of the next ten years. Intimate and raw, never before has someone ventured so deeply into the psyche of the wrongfully accused.

 

SCENES & TEASER

 

 
 
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BARRY & MYRNA

“Barry and Myrna” (2017) takes place as Barry and Myrna drive down to Florida. Barry will be interviewed by the board of a condo he’s trying to buy in the Jewish community his parents lived before they died while he was wrongfully incarcerated. Even though he was proven innocent and is now a millionaire, the board STILL required that he come for an in-person interview because of his prison history. This scene illustrates Barry's persisting fear of the police even 10 years after his exoneration as well as the volatile dynamic between him and Myrna - and exemplifies the humor that goes hand in hand with the heaviness of this film.

 
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The Cemetery

“The Cemetery” (2009) Barry arrives in New Mexico, having driven all the way from New York, to visit the gravesite of his parents, whom he hadn't seen since 1995. His parents devotedly visited him during the 19 years he was wrongfully incarcerated, but eventually became too old to make the trip, and both died within a year of his release before he was able to see them. After desperately searching through rows of headstones, Barry finally gets his chance to say goodbye to them, but not before making them a solemn vow to come back for them. 

 
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Teaser

“The Teaser” utilizes some of the great news coverage of Barry’s case as well as hard to believe scenes from Hollywood films, like Goodfellas, that Mafia Cop, Louis Eppolito, acted in while he was working for the NYPD (and also working as a hired hitman for the mob). This sequence sets the stage for where Barry’s story begins, and provides background for the film. These archival materials, as well as a wealth of others will be used in the actual film.

PRESS

 HUFFPOST 10/05/2017

HUFFPOST 10/05/2017

An Exonerated Prisoner Shares What Freedom Is Like After 19 Years Behind Bars

Freedom for Barry Gibbs hasn’t been easy, thankfully he has a friend in Vanessa Potkin. By Erica Euse

 Daily News 06/05/2005

Daily News 06/05/2005

Barry Gibbs, wrongly jailed for 19 years, will never forget crooked cop who put him in prison

Barry Gibbs, with his girlfriend Myrna Lichter, says he battles depression after being wrongly jailed for 19 years. By John Marzulli 

 New York Times 06/03/2010

New York Times 06/03/2010

City to Pay $9.9 Million Over Man’s Imprisonment

“They are permanent scars,” said Barry Gibbs, who says he was falsely convicted of killing a prostitute. He received $1.9 million from the state. By A. G. SULZBERGER

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