The Great EscapeJuly 4, 1963
The Nazis, exasperated at the number of escapes from their prison camps by a relatively small number of Allied prisoners, relocates them to a high-security 'escape-proof' camp to sit out the remainder of the war. Undaunted, the prisoners plan one of the most ambitious escape attempts of World War II. Based on a true story.
Birdman of AlcatrazJuly 3, 1962
After killing a prison guard, convict Robert Stroud faces life imprisonment in solitary confinement. Driven nearly mad by loneliness and despair, Stroud's life gains new meaning when he happens upon a helpless baby sparrow in the exercise yard and nurses it back to health. Despite having only a third grade education, Stroud goes on to become a renowned ornithologist and achieves a greater sense of freedom and purpose behind bars than most people find in the outside world.
House of WhipcordApril 19, 1974
Somewhere in the middle of the English countryside a former judge and a group of former prison warders, including his lover, run their own prison for young women who have not been held properly to account for their crimes. Here they mete out their own form of justice and ensure that the girls never return to their old ways.
UnspeakableDecember 1, 2003
A flawed attempt to map the mind of a brutal serial killer leads to a horrifying battle for survival in director Thomas Wright's visceral thriller. Despite vocal objections from Warden Blakely (Dennis Hopper), prison psychologist Diana Purlow journeys deep inside the mind of serial killer Jesse Mowat (Pavan Grover) in a desperate attempt to reveal the source of his psychotic tendencies.
The Mayor of HellJune 24, 1933
Five members of a teen-age gang, including leader Jimmy Smith, are sent to the State Reformatory, presided over by the melodramatically callous Thompson. Soon, Patsy Gargan, a former gangster appointed Deputy Commissioner as a political favor, arrives complete with hip flask and blonde. Gargan falls for activist nurse Dorothy and, inspired by her, takes over the administration to run the place on radical principles. But Thompson, to conceal his years of graft, needs a quick way to discredit Gargan... Written by Rod Crawford
SolitaryApril 16, 2016
There are 100,000 US citizens in solitary confinement across the country, a staggering number prompting comment from both President Obama and the Pope. Situated in rural Virginia, 300 miles from any urban center, Red Onion State Prison is one of over 40 supermax prisons across the US built to hold prisoners in eight-by-ten-foot cells for 23 hours a day. Filmed over the course of one year, this eye-opening film braids stark prison imagery, stories from correction officers, and intimate reflections from the men who are locked up in isolation. The inmates share the paths that led them to prison and their daily struggles to maintain their sanity.
HumAugust 24, 2015
A solitary dish washing robot living out his life in the back room of a restaurant is enlightened to the world that exists beyond his four walls, with the help of a small friend he breaks free of confinement to pursue his dream of exploration.
Last Days of SolitaryApril 18, 2017
In 2011, Maine State Prison launched a pioneering reform program to scale back its use of solitary confinement. Bafta and Emmy-winning film-maker Dan Edge and his co-director Lauren Mucciolo were given unprecedented access to the solitary unit - and filmed there for more than three years. The result is an extraordinary and harrowing portrait of life in solitary - and a unique document of a radical and risky experiment to reform a prison. The US is the world leader in solitary confinement. More than 80,000 American prisoners live in isolation, some have been there for years, even decades. Solitary is proven to cause mental illness, it is expensive, and it is condemned by many as torture. And yet for decades, it has been one of the central planks of the American criminal justice system.