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CFUV @ VFF 2017: The Prison In Twelve Landscapes

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I don’t know what to make of this film, honestly.  It is cinematically very appealing, with intriguing music and several thought provoking moments.  There are a lot of black people interviewed, or just appearing as part of the scenery.  It doesn’t point fingers, or ask its audience to reach any particular conclusions.  It leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

 

For example, it’s titled the prison rather than a prison.  So, which prison?  The one at the end of the movie, the huge fortress-like place in upstate New York?  Or the prison of economic madness, the prison industrial complex with its “job security,” with side industries like the guy in his warehouse full of prison approved clothing, music, and food for sale to families and friends who want to make life more comfortable for their incarcerated friends.  He’s a nice guy, the warehouse owner, it’s a smart business.  He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who wants the prison system to expand, though it would be good for his bottom line.

 

Early on a young man implies prisons provide the best kind of work because those are jobs that definitely won’t be shipped overseas.  He’s hoping the prison will return to his town because the coal industry has pulled out and left them economically devastated.

 

What kind of freedom is this nation, this economy, promoting, when young black men are killed on the streets but their murderers go free, while a woman spends 15 days in jail for refusing to pay the $175 fine she received when her garbage can lid wasn’t securely enough fastened to the garbage can?

 

Is there something I’m supposed to get from this film that I just didn’t?  I feel frustrated.

 

Go see the film February 7th at 9:15 or February 9th at 6:30 pm at the Capitol 6.

-Janine

 

For more of CFUV’s VFF coverage click here.

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