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In At Night I Fly: Images from New Folsom, inmates at one of California's most maximum security prisons let us see their world. This world is less about dangerous drama and more, as one of them describes, "about isolation. About closure of both the mind and the heart. And the spirit." The documentary shows prisoners, most serving a life sentence, who refuse such closure and instead work to uncover and express themselves. Their primary tool is making art and the film takes us to New Folsom's Arts in Corrections' room, to prison poetry readings, gospel choirs, blues guitar on the yard, and to many more scenes of creation. Written by
There's a fiction version in the movies about being in an American prison. There's gang wars, gang rapes, gangland. This is a documentary about those who live in reality and stay in reality. Some of them are murderers with a lifetime sentence.
There has been a cultural program in Californian prisons, which was closed down last year because of budget reasons. It meant that the convicts, instead of belonging to some gang in the yard, could take part in activities like poetry, music and philosophical discussions. Naive? No, it seems to function for about 20 of them.
One of them thinks that whatever we've done, we're all the same, making life pass. We perhaps never get out of our physical conditions, in this case jail, but we can change anyway. Hopeful message; until the program was shut down in 2010.
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