The Island of Lost Children | Chicago Reader

The Island of Lost Children

Florence Jaugey gave young offenders in a Nicaraguan penitentiary video cameras and a brief tutorial in their operation; this 2001 documentary comprises footage they shot. The framing device of following the prisoners as they make their own movie (alternately interviewing and being interviewed) packs a certain postmodern punch, and there are some genuinely powerful moments: a tearful reunion of mother and son, a dry-eyed firsthand account of a prison murder, matter-of-fact descriptions of prison gang life. But more often than not the video replicates the dreary routine of life behind bars. The topic is fascinating but the net effect is soporific. 82 min.

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