Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Director Alan Raymond packs a hell of a lot into 60 short minutes in this excellent documentary on life behind bars. He and producer Susan Raymond received unprecedented access to film within the walls of Lewisburg Prison, a maximum security facility whose inmates are for the most part murderers and drug lords, in for life and with very little hope of either rehabilitation or parole. The violence, the friendships and the outlook of these men, whose attitudes range from bitter to oblivious, are all given a careful once-over while the prison’s warden and employees fill in the rest. Had the Raymonds been charged to make a longer, full feature-length documentary on the subject, it would have been a welcome sight: their footage is as visually skilled as it is rich in substance, and the film is as tough as it is satisfying.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Documentary Feature