Filmmaker and journalist Justin Kenny, class of 1992, will return to Bishop Hendricken High School on April 9 for the first Rhode Island public screening event of “The New Barbarianism,” a documentary he wrote and directed about the surge in attacks against medical workers and other humanitarians in today’s wars. The film, which recently won “Best Documentary Feature” in the Los Angeles Film Awards, made its PBS premiere Saturday, March 24 on Rhode Island PBS.
“I’m extremely grateful to Hendricken for hosting this event. Unfortunately, the crisis of attacks on medical and humanitarian workers is receiving far too little attention and any opportunity we have to publicly shed light on the scope and scale of the issue is most welcome. It’s important that we give voice to the millions who are suffering in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, South Sudan and beyond who are often cut off from humanitarian and medical care because of barbaric attacks on those who provide care,” said Kenny.
“One of the tenets of a Hendricken education is to stand in solidarity with the poor and marginalized. I’m hoping this film will help inspire students and the broader community to help amplify attention so that the world’s most vulnerable populations will not be forgotten.”
“The New Barbarianism,” produced by the Center for Strategic and International Studies Global Health Policy Center and co-directed by executive producer J Stephen Morrison, features original footage obtained from inside Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan and interviews with medical and humanitarians working on the frontlines of conflicts and others including Doctors Without Borders President Dr. Joanne Liu, Senator John McCain and Former British Foreign Secretary and current International Rescue Committee CEO David Miliband.
Kenny and Morrison have shown the film to several distinguished audiences at Harvard University, Tufts University, the National Academy of Medicine, Stanford University, University of California-Berkeley, Johns Hopkins University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Upcoming screenings are planned at Brown University, the Embassy of Sweden in Washington and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum. The director team recently won “Best 1st Time Director[s]” in the Oniros Film Awards. “The New Barbarianism” also received two “Awards of Excellence” in the Impact Docs Awards international documentary competition in the categories of Documentary Feature and Writing/Script.
Kenny grew up in West Warwick and graduated from Hendricken in 1992 and has had a distinguished journalism career after attending Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. He worked for Reuters Television for 15 years first as a producer and later as North American Editor. From 2012-2015 he was Foreign and Defense Editor/Senior Producer for the PBS NewsHour. Under his leadership, the program doubled the amount of original overseas reporting. Kenny won many prestigious awards for his work on the program including two Emmys, a Peabody and a National Headliner Award. In 2016, he launched Small Footprint Films a news and documentary production company in Washington, D.C.
The April 9 screening event will begin at 7 p.m. in the Dr. Daniel S. Harrop Theater and is open to the public. Viewer discretion is advised.