8.7/10
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Music from the Big House (2010)

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Rita Chiarelli's exploration of Louisiana's Angola Prison, its inmates and the blues music tradition they perform with her.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Rita Chiarelli
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Storyline

Rita, an award winning recording artist, takes a pilgrimage to the birthplace of the blues... Louisiana State Maximum Security Penitentiary, a.k.a Angola Prison. She never imagined that her love for the blues would lead her to raise the roof in a collaborative jailhouse performance with inmates serving life sentences for murder, rape and armed robbery. Music has given these inmates something to live for behind the bars of what was once the bloodiest prison in America. It is their only escape. Steeped with hope, these remarkable voices guide us on a journey of men on a quest for forgiveness. One woman, four bands, and two hours of the Blues. It's time to make a new soundtrack. Written by Anonymous

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1 June 2012 (USA)  »

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This movie speaks tons
15 May 2012 | by (U.S.) – See all my reviews

Music from the Big House begins humbly enough, with a myriad of inmates telling their musical roots. Rita Chiarelli seeks to go back to the roots of the blues, Angola Prison Louisiana. This is where the magic happens. Taking the time to assemble 4 different bands, Rita masterfully guides the inmates learning their past, while teaching her own. Together they make nothing short of a masterpiece. Music from the Big House grants a beautiful look into the hearts and souls of these men. Introducing you to the new souls, the men of hope, looking out of their harrowing homes and into the heavens for salvation. Rita becomes their angel in garb, dealing out guitars, keyboards, and drums; making the blues resonate from the stonewalls of Angola Prison. I loved the simple black and white film, each shadowed grain only intensified emotions of the graveled voices. Chiarelli guides us humbly, granting us with an open-hearted look into the real men and their music.


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