Citizen Penn from Don Hardy
Over the years, Sean Penn has been criticized for his political and high-profile charitable efforts. Director Don Hardy looks to change minds about the actor in his documentary Citizen Penn for Discovery+.
The Academy Award winner Sean Penn never wants the spotlight, but knows he can shift the spotlight to important causes. With his Oscar win in Milk, he made his speech in regards to homosexual rights. During Hurricane Katrina aftermath, he ventured to New Orleans to assist the evacuation of the flooded neighborhoods. It became a striking image of Penn towing a skiff through the waters.
Later, the giant earthquake struck Haiti that left the country devasted and demolished. With his organization, he dropped everything to assist the humanitarian efforts of this disaster. Unlike the bad images of celebrities, Penn did not stay for hours. He stayed beyond weeks, months, and years to work tirelessly for the Haitian people.
Director Don Hardy managed to capture the expedition on camera.
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Here’s the full synopsis of the documentary:
Citizen Penn chronicles the moment of Penn and his team of volunteers landed in Haiti, just days after the earthquake struck, and ten years since. The film offers viewers an intimate, honest, and self-reflective look into the triumphs and challenges of those who decided to do something. For Penn, Haiti changed his life. He went there for what he thought was a two-week aid mission to drop off supplies, help doctors, provide immediate medical care, and then get out and get back to his normal life. Instead, he stayed and created an organization called J/P HRO (now CORE) that took over management duties for the largest camp for displaced people in the entire country.
Over the past few years, CORE has expanded its efforts across the United States, most recently organized free COVID-19 testing sites across the country and running the nation’s largest vaccination site at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles. Citizen Penn highlights the team and their current projects in the United States.
LRM Online’s Gig Patta spoke with director Don Hardy about documenting the efforts of Sean Penn and the non-profit organizers in Haiti.
Citizen Penn premieres today on Discover+.
Watch the exclusive interview below. Let us know what you think.