If there’s genre of prison movies that sees the whole of a prison as one criminal enterprise, this would be in there; not just a few bad eggs, but an entire system openly engaging in criminal behaviour. How and why are trickier questions. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on May 7th, 2023 at 1:01 pm. Updated on May 7th, 2023 at 1:01 pm.
Maybe new prisoner Terry Savage (Tyrese Gibson) should have been suspicious when the Police Commissioner implored him to go undercover in the Degnan Correctional Institute, a private prison, because they had nobody to tell them about all the evil things that were going down in there – but still managed to get an encrypted cell phone into his cell before he arrived. Maybe the viewer should have been suspicious at the first point at which it becomes evident that the serious ‘human rights violations (and) corruption’ that the Commissioner was keen to root out are principally, aside from a thriving drug dealership, a fight club. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on February 13th, 2023 at 9:50 am. Updated on February 13th, 2023 at 9:50 am.
German audiences of this silent wartime farce would have been very familiar with the storyline, borrowed from Johann Strauss’s operetta Die Fledermaus which had opened more than sixty years before the film’s release. What was a merry 8-day prison sentence in Die Fledermaus becomes a single day’s imprisonment here, adding to the merriment. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on December 30th, 2022 at 7:46 pm. Updated on December 30th, 2022 at 7:46 pm.
Cenzorka (‘The Censor’) was released just four months before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The very proper outpouring of sympathy for Ukraine (from the West, at least) since then makes it almost heretical to make any comment about that beleaguered country that is anything less than 100 per cent supportive – but its prison system (or maybe just this prison) doesn’t come across so positively in this unusual blending of documentary and fiction. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on August 24th, 2022 at 10:30 pm. Updated on August 24th, 2022 at 10:30 pm.
Fortress (1992) may have given us the intestinator, but Spiderhead gives us Darkenfloxx and all sorts of novel inmate-controlling options. It’s part sci-fi and, for prison buffs exclusively, part critique on privatisation (quite possibly without meaning to be). Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on July 4th, 2022 at 9:47 pm. Updated on July 4th, 2022 at 9:47 pm.
This trashy, tawdry, unimaginative film would be more accurately called ‘Several Bad Women, Amongst a Number of Others Who Aren’t, in a Dormitory with a Large, Rambling Basement Attached’ – if accuracy were ever a goal of the WIP genre.
Posted on April 6th, 2022 at 9:26 pm. Updated on April 6th, 2022 at 9:26 pm.
Salute! is a prison film that deserves more than casual attention; it was, in part, written by inmates from the Windhoek Correctional Facility after the story was workshopped there, it was filmed at the prison, and the cast includes prisoners as well as civilian actors. But those assets are probably also its biggest weaknesses. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on February 20th, 2022 at 4:22 pm. Updated on February 20th, 2022 at 4:25 pm.
It’s a short film, this one, but a good ‘un…
Posted on January 3rd, 2022 at 10:13 am. Updated on January 3rd, 2022 at 10:13 am.
First things first: Lokillo is the name by which comedian Yédison Flórez is better known, and ‘Mi Otra Yo’ translates as ‘My Other Self’. The word ‘lokillo’ conveys a sense of a little bit mad; a little bit loco. And a little bit loco, in this case, is a man pretending to be a woman in a women’s prison, partly for witness protection purposes and partly as an undercover informant. Comedy gold. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on December 11th, 2021 at 9:08 pm. Updated on December 11th, 2021 at 9:08 pm.
Some have heralded this representative story of one Palestinian woman wrongly imprisoned in Israel, as (aside from the overt political message) a triumph of the human spirit. It could be that, or it could just be a quiet tribute to that woman’s goodness and resilience.
Posted on October 24th, 2021 at 3:37 pm. Updated on October 24th, 2021 at 3:37 pm.