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