Following those in pursuit of their own liberation while going through the rigorous program at the Culinary Training Program of DC Central Kitchen.




Washington DC Filmmakers Christoph Green and Brendan Canty (Fugazi) embed themselves in a class of recovering addicts, former drug dealers, and felons, all going through the DC Central Kitchen Culinary Training Program. Three months of hardcore therapy every morning and Knife Skills every afternoon. What emerges is an emotionally complex narrative of three students and their dramatic stories, punctuated by high octane cooking.


The Liberation in the Press


The Missoulian


The Washington Post


About the FilM

Washington DC, Just three blocks from the Capitol, in the basement of a homeless shelter. Twenty five recovering addicts, former drug dealers, recently released felons, and homeless men and women are in the Culinary Training Program of DC Central Kitchen.

This film follows three of those students through the three month rigorous program in pursuit of their own liberation: Michael, recently released from a 22 year prison term is so desperately institutionalized he may never leave the four walls in his head. Wanda, an older mother of two, cannot escape the guilt that comes from her years as a neglectful crack addict. Vishawn, a young former coke dealer out of prison a second time, has two small children counting on him. And finally, running the program, is Marianne Ali, a hero of a survivor who knows the tricks and pitfalls of recovery. We see in her beautiful persona the deliverance promised from the streets that our students are so desperate to realize.

The Liberation follows them from their emotional group sessions to their afternoons of intense cooking instruction. We see a family form before our eyes as they learn the power of their own history. We see them physically transform into proud potential workers, and we follow them into job interviews, where self-doubt is trumped by their will.

It is a place of personal strength and bravery. Welcome to the real DC.

To learn more about DC Central Kitchen and its programs visit


“The Liberation is street-real and inspirational, the kind of film that will make you look at your own life, and the lives of others, in a different way. It is the most exhilarating documentary I have seen in a long while.”

George Pelecanos, writer/producer of The Wire and The Deuce

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the Directors



Director Christoph Green has been a major force in DC for over 19 years in the world of television design and filmmaking. He co-founded Trixie Film in 2004 with Brendan Canty. He has co-produced and directed a long list of music-related films for artists such as Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder, Death Cab for Cutie, The Decemberists, The Shins and Wilco. In addition to their documentary film work, they have produced many nationally recognized commercials, public service campaigns and corporate and non-profit branding campaigns.

Christoph Green is also an award-winning graphic and television designer and owner of the design company, Tangerine. His clients include Planned Parenthood, Nando's, the Discovery Channel, The Democratic National Committee, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, The World Bank, TV Land and the National Medals of Science and Technology.




"I was born in 1966, in Teaneck NJ, but have lived in DC since I was 10 months old. I have watched the city change, and grow, and lose people and gain people. I have seen musicians and artists thrive, burn out, move, tour, and return with experience.  I am like a  passenger on a coast to coast train trip that greets people as they get on and get off. I show them where the best bathrooms are."

Brendan played in Fugazi for 15 years, from it’s inception in ’87 to it’s hiatus in ’02. He's also played in Rites of Spring, Deadline, One Last Wish, Happy Go Licky,  Bob Mould, Deathfix, and currently in Super! Silver! Haze!, and The Messthetics. He produced records for Ted Leo, The Thermals, the Make Up, and others. He is the composer on dozens of hours of television and films. He's performed live score to films with the great filmmakers Sam Green and Brent Green. He recently composed the score for Frank Serpico, directed by Antonino D’Ambrosio, and is working on the feature DC Noir, by George Pelecanos.  

Christoph and Brendan made many films together, working with bands such as Wilco, Pearl Jam, the Decemberists, Death Cab for Cutie, and many others on concert films and docs. They made multiple editions of Burn to Shine, documenting scenes of musicians in different cities in houses that are being demolished. The Liberation marks a decidedly different and exciting turn for them.

He still lives in DC, with his wife Michelle and their four children.