The Farm: Angola, U.S.A. | Chicago Reader

The Farm: Angola, U.S.A.

Jonathan Stack and Elizabeth Garbus's powerful documentary, winner of the grand jury prize at Sundance, focuses on six long-term inmates at the Louisiana state penitentiary—an 18,000-acre complex on the grounds of a former slave plantation, with 5,000 inmates, 77 percent of them black. It?s limited only in the sense that the viewer sometimes lacks sufficient information to draw conclusions about everything that's shown. (This is particularly troublesome when one inmate fails to get his case reopened; the board's indifference to his evidence seems shocking, yet we don't see all the evidence or all their deliberations, so we have to trust the filmmakers.) What registers most movingly is the inmates themselves and their courage in coping with a hopeless future.

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