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Charlottesville: ‘No Accident’ documentary follows Unite the Right civil lawsuit, attorneys, plantiffs

Crystal Graham
charlottesville rally
(© Kim Kelley-Wagner – Shutterstock)

The 2017 Charlottesville Unite the Right white nationalist rally is the subject of the HBO documentary film “No Accident” debuting on Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 9 p.m. on HBO. The film runs 97 minutes.

The rally led to the death of Heather Heyer, 32, of Charlottesville, at the hands of a participant in the rally, James A. Fields Jr.

In 2019, Fields was sentenced to life in prison for his crimes.

Directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Kristi Jacobson, the film gives behind-the-scenes access to attorneys Roberta “Robbie” Kaplan and Karen Dunn who filed a civil lawsuit against 17 white nationalist leaders and organizations on behalf of nine plaintiffs who suffered physical and emotional injuries while peacefully counter protesting the rally.

The lawsuit alleged that the event was not an isolated, spontaneous gathering, but rather a well-planned and coordinated conspiracy to incite racially motivated violence and to advance an anti-Semitic, race-war agenda.

“No Accident” chronicles the trial, where co-counsels Kaplan and Dunn along with attorneys Michael Bloch and Jessica Phillips, go head-to-head against alt-right and white supremacist leader Richard Spencer and extremist podcast host Christopher Cantwell, among other defendants.

When Spencer and Cantwell represent themselves at trial and act as their own attorneys, the plaintiffs must confront their attackers on the witness stand during cross-examinations.

Revealing the vitriolic online language and communiqués that led to the death of Heyer and the lasting trauma of many who were present on Aug. 12, 2017, through testimony from the trial, the film exposes a broad network of conspirators and details the challenges of holding those leaders and organizations liable for their actions.

“No Accident” will also be available to stream on Max.

Promo video

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Sen. Warner on one-year anniversary of deadly Charlottesville rally
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Tim Kaine statement on anniversary of white supremacist violence in Charlottesville
Published date: August 11, 2018 | 9:07 am

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Charlottesville activists respond to Unite the Right 2 rally
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House Democrats call for changes in state law on anniversary of Charlottesville rally
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Northam, City of Charlottesville declare states of emergency for Aug. 10–12 events
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James Alex Fields Jr. indicted on 30 counts, including hate crime charge, in Aug. 12 rally incident
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Kaine: ‘You have to condemn the intolerable’
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Breaking: Charlottesville to make ‘major announcement’ on Lee statue
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Warner, Kaine call on Sessions to step up efforts to combat hate-based violence
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Tim Kaine: ‘We will not go back to the days of hatred and bigotry’
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David Swanson: Disarm Nazi disrupters of Heather Heyer funeral
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Paramount Theater to host Heather Heyer memorial service
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Marietta McCarty: Charlottesville is All-Right
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Update on murder at Charlottesville rally
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Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.