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The Prison in Twelve Landscapes

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Canada, United States · 2016
1h 30m
Director Brett Story
Genre Documentary

The United States imprisons more people than at any point in human history. This feature documentary explores twelve landscapes in the U.S. where one wouldn’t expect to find traces of prisons, from the mountains of California where incarcerated people fight wildfires for pennies, to a town in Kentucky where the people rely on the prison for employment.

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What are critics saying?


Slant Magazine by Chuck Bowen

The plaintive plain-spokenness of the interviewees, the way they matter-of-factly speak of atrocity, is transcendent and intensely haunting.


The New York Times by Jeannette Catsoulis

Ms. Story’s unconventional approach provokes responses that a traditional facts-and-figures discussion might not. Yet the film’s formal abstraction, far from creating emotional distance, is unexpectedly moving.


Variety by Scott Tobias

Story has made a potent political film without having to spray viewers with a fusillade of alarming numbers to back it up. She trusts viewers to intuit their way through fascinating anecdotes and detours that gain a cumulative power, one that data alone cannot possibly express.


The Hollywood Reporter by Sheri Linden

Provocative and often fascinating, The Prison in Twelve Landscapes is an unsentimental look at the ways prisons shape life outside their walls, in places as disparate as Appalachia and Midtown Manhattan.

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