DOCUMENTARY

THE ART OF INCARCERATION

DIRECTOR: Alex Siddons
AUSTRALIA / 2021

BOFA 2021 Online Film Festival

RUNNING TIME: 110 MINS

It’s a system that is strategically designed to suppress.

-Prison artist.

Aboriginal people in prison are “not all drug addicts, alcoholics, crooks and bad people.” As this film shows, many of them are talented artists, some with previous successful global careers in sport and the media. But as director Alex Siddons shows, playing a straight filmic bat that doesn’t look for sympathy or explanations, the opportunities for time-served Aboriginal prisoners are rare. Using a highly documentive approach he mingles with incarcerated artists at the Fulham Correctional Centre as they prepare for their ‘Confined’ art exhibition. Gravel voiced prisoners tenderly talk through their representations of both good and bad times, and ex-cons explain how the experience of recognition as an artist can bring long term healing and forgiveness. This is a confronting and challenging film, but one that gives a real insight into the inner strength that Aboriginal people can pull from their ancient culture, “no matter how dark the times get” as one puts it. A must see.

AWARDS: Official Selection, Melbourne Documentary Film Festival

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