Prison

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    Shotgun Joe (ca. 1970)

    This is a cinema verite-style documentary film about convicted felon Joe Scanlan, nicknamed “Shotgun Joe”, who was serving time for armed robbery in the Conneticut State Reformatory. The film follows Scanlan in prison and his interaction with prisoners, staff, and family. The Interviews reveal him as a likable, flamboyant, pathetic, young man moving toward […]

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    Stickup Kid (2014)

    FRONTLINE tells the story of Alonza Thomas — sent to adult prison in California at the age of 16 — and how spending more than a decade behind bars impacted him. pbs IMDB (unrated)

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    The Condemned (2013)

    Penal Colony No. 6, it’s seven hours from the nearest city, and based in the heart of a forest the size of Germany where the temperature is a balmy -40 degrees. It houses some 260 prisoners who are responsible for 800 murders collectively. The worst of the worst are the 85 former death row […]

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    The Farm: Angola, USA (1998)

    Liz Garbus and Jonathan Stack co-directed this documentary, which explores life behind the bars of Louisiana’s notorious maximum-security prison, Angola. Stationed on an old slave plantation, Angola is populated overwhelmingly by black inmates, and staffed by a white administration. The stories of various inmates convey the injustice and futility but also the hope that […]

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    The House I Live In (2012)

    The House I Live In is a carefully woven documentary that attempts to explain why the land of the free currently has a higher percentage of its population behind bars than any other country. It reports that the vast majority of those inside are there on drug related charges and since 1971, over $1 […]

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    The Mark of Cain (2001)

    Sailing ships, stars, angels and executioners, The Mark of Cain chronicles the vanishing practice and language of Russian Criminal Tattoos. Captured in some of Russia’s most notorious prisons, including the fabled White Swan, the film traces the animus of the flowers of this carnal art by way of the brutality of it’s origins: the […]

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    The Norden – Nordic Prisons (2014)

    James Conway is shaking his head in disbelief as he walks through the institution they call ”prison” in Halden in Norway. During a one week filming trip with The Finnish Broadcasting Company he visited different kinds of correctional institutions in Finland and Sweden, but the Norwegian ultra liberal regime was nothing like what he’s […]

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    The Real Bangkok Hilton (2004)

    Michael Connell is only 19; thin and frail a supermarket worker from Manchester, his lawyers say he has a mental age of someone several years younger, but he talks clearly of the day to day life in jail. The only foreigner in a dorm of 1000, he survives by teaching his fellow inmates English. […]

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    The Real Bronson (2010)

    Charles Arthur “Charlie” Salvador (better known as Charles Bronson and born Michael Gordon “Mickey” Peterson; 6 December 1952) is an English criminal who is often referred to in the British press as the “most violent prisoner in Britain” and “Britain’s most notorious prisoner”. He has also spent periods detained in the Rampton, Broadmoor and […]

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    The Road to Guantanamo (2006)

    In 2001, four Pakistani Britons, Ruhal Ahmed, Asif Iqbal and Shafiq Rasul and another friend, Monir, travel to Pakistan for a wedding and in a urge of idealism, decide to see the situation of war torn Afganistan which is being bombed by the American forces in retaliation for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Once there, […]

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    The System: Juvenile Justice (2016)

    In this episode of The System, we take a look at the issue of juvenile sentencing, and consider two compelling cases in Michigan that raise the question of whether children convicted of murder should be subjected to life in prison without the possibility of parole. A battle is now waging to decide how to […]