Through the Wire tells the story of three women convicted of federal crimes who were placed into a special high-security "jail within a jail" during the late 1980's. The women claim that they were mistreated-- victims of a government "brainwashing" experiment-- because of their radical political views. Though some of their claims seem to have some merit, the film fails to make a strong case for them. Relying almost entirely on the words of the women themselves, the film makes very little effort to substantiate or refute their accounts through interviews with authorities. Considering the near-universal tendency of prison inmates to exaggerate their plight (filing suits claiming that the food itself constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, for example), it is difficult to take the women's claims at face value. It doesn't help matters that the women express their extreme political views, at times resorting to outlandish hyperbole when discussing the U.S. and its "genocidal" policies. The women would have been better served by a more objective film that focussed on the better substantiated aspects of their stories, such as the extreme length of their sentences. This film won't convince anyone who isn't already convinced.
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