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.
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall 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.
What people are saying...
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall challenges preconceptions about inmates and prison life in surprising and hopeful ways. Barens reveals the heart of humanity beating loud and strong within the harshest environments.
Faced with living and dying inside, the inmates we meet have chosen to live in community with one another. The commitment of the inmate hospice volunteers – and the competence and reverence with which they provide care – shows that dying people’s comfort and dignity can be preserved even in the least desirable situations. Our society could learn a lot from the example they set. A triumph of documentary filmmaking!
Ira Byock, MD, palliative care physician and a Professor of Medicine, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth; author of Dying Well and The Best Care Possible.
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall transcends classification; it is more than a film about prison, and suffering or death. It is a deeply layered story of how the human spirit overcomes the greatest fear of all prisoners - the degradation and isolation of dying alone in prison. This stunning film helps us to gain compassion for those that we both fear and ostracize.
Susan Rosenberg - Human rights activist, adjunct professor, award-winning writer
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall shows us both the pain and the humanity of life behind prison walls. In doing so, it gets beyond the day-to-day politics of crime and punishment, and challenges us to think about how we can bring out the best in all of us, even those who may have committed terrible acts in their lives.
Marc Mauer - Executive Director of The Sentencing Project and author of Race to Incarcerate
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall is an insightful and sensitive documentary. Barens, given a rare opportunity to film within the correctional institution, makes the most of this opportunity. Viewers will undoubtedly marvel at the profound working relationships between prison staff and inmate volunteers.
Russ Immarigeon - Editor of Offender Programs Report
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