Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall is a moving cinema verité documentary that breaks through the walls of one of Americas oldest maximum security prisons to tell the story of the final months in the life of a terminally ill prisoner, Jack Hall and the hospice volunteers, they themselves prisoners, who care for him. The film draws from footage shot over a six-month period behind the walls of the Iowa State Penitentiary and provides a fascinating and often poignant account of how the hospice experience can profoundly touch even the forsaken lives of the incarcerated. Director Edgar Barens stops to talk about his moving film and the tens of thousands of Jack Halls that are dying right now in prisons all over the United States.
“The only truly great film in this category… The 2013 Short Documentary you shouldn’t miss. – Salon.com film critic Andrew O’Hehir
“Terribly CAPTIVATING. GALVANIZING. GRIPPING.” “SHOULD WIN” the Academy Award for Best Doc Short Subject. – SLANT Magazine
“The film is most moving as a case study of one man, a decorated WWII vet and German POW who killed his late son’s drug dealer. Hall’s a tough bird and so are the volunteers, convicted murderers all, who care for him in his final illness, but “Prison Terminal” turns out to be a profoundly tender experience.” – Ty Burr, The Boston Globe
The Oscar nominated Short Live Action film The Lady in Number 6 is one of the most inspirational and uplifting stories of the year. As the world’s oldest pianist and holocaust survivor, 109 year-old Alice Herz Sommer shares her views on how to live a long and happy life. She discusses music, laughter and how to remain optimistic come what may. The film features beautiful photographs and rare film footage that truly brings Alice’s extraordinary story to life. The director of The Lady in Number 6, Malcolm Clarke joins us to talk about the remarkable life an times of a gifted artist and resilient human being.
“Herz-Sommer’s story is remarkable. Born in Prague to a family focused on the arts, she recalls, as a child, going for fun walks with her mother’s great friend Franz Kafka — the brilliant existentialist author not necessarily known as being a fun guy — or sitting on the knee of Gustav Mahler, the world-renowned composer and a close acquaintance of her kin. But it was another luminary, classical pianist Artur Schnabel, who encouraged her to pursue a concert career.” – Bill Brownstein, Montreal Gazette
Ra Paulette has dug 14 caves in the sandstone cliffs of Northern New Mexico Paulette using only hand tools — a pickaxe and wheelbarrow strapped to his back, each project taking months, sometimes years to complete. Paulette digs cathedral-like, ‘eighth wonder of the world’ art. Each creation takes him years to complete, and each is a masterwork. Paulette’s process is wholly intuitive — he creates arches, pillars, rooms, doorways, steps, benches with carving as detailed as a cathedral. But patrons who have commissioned caves have cut off nearly all of his projects due to artistic differences. Paulette is the subject of filmmaker Jeffrey Karoff’s Academy Award nominated Live Action Short, CaveDigger. Director Karoff joins us to talk about the challenges of capturing the Paulette’s particular vision and spectacular works on film.
“Akin to Andy Goldsworthy—who also painstakingly creates fleeting beauty in the wilderness, but mainly reaches his audience through photographs of those creations—Paulette may benefit from being the subject of Jeffrey Karoff‘s intriguing doc portrait.” – Aaron Hills, Village Voice