PRISON TERMINAL: the last days of private jack hall

PRISON TERMINAL: the last days of private jack hall

    Price: $350.00

    Code: 2474

    Directed by Edgar Barens
    2013, 40 minutes
    Purchase: $350 | Classroom rental: $125
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    2014 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Short Subject, Prison Terminal breaks through the walls of one of America's oldest maximum security prisons to tell the incredibly moving story of the final months in the life of a terminally ill prisoner, Jack Hall, and the hospice volunteers (prisoners themselves) who care for him.

    Due to several factors, including an increase in tough on crime legislation, harsher sentencing, and the elimination of parole throughout the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. correctional system is finding itself saddled with a booming population of long termers and the chronically ill. There are over 200,000 elderly inmates currently serving time in the nation's 1800 prisons. Of these facilities, only 75 have unique hospice programs and just a handful have taken the risk of incorporating prisoners as hospice volunteers.

    Hall is an 82-year-old WWII veteran, a prisoner of war, who is serving a life sentence for murder. In 1977, Hall killed his late son's drug dealer. He began serving time in 1984. Since then, he has spent nearly a decade in the prison infirmary, grappling with a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    In the hospice, Hall is cared for by a group of African-American prisoners, all 'lifers' as well. For these volunteers, their work in the hospice allows them to show compassion, love and respect for a fellow human being, perhaps for the first time in their lives. In return, they provide unique social, emotional and spiritual support.

    Shot over a period of six months with unprecedented round-the-clock access to the Penitentiary, Prison Terminal is a poignant chronicle of death and dignity behind bars; a fascinating documentary that shows how the hospice experience can profoundly touch even the forsaken lives of the incarcerated.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    Nominee, Best Documentary Short Subject, Academy Awards
    Winner, Best of Show (Best Short Film), National Media Market, 2014
    Official Selection, Council on Social Work Education Film Festival
    Official Selection, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
    Official Selection, Irvine Film Festival


    "A reverent and shattering experience, made with immense compassion and without an atom of dishonesty.- Salon

    "A profoundly tender experience." - The Boston Globe

    "[An] impressive balancing act, poised between an intimate portrait of an incarcerated World War II veteran and an overview of the prison's hospice system for the terminally ill...Unflinching, thorough, plainspoken, and humane."- Chicago Reader

    "Few [viewers] will fail to be moved by the younger men who care for [Jack Hall]" The men clearly have a vision of how our prisons"could deal more humanely with those who, whatever their crimes, need companionship after decades of exclusion from society." " The Hollywood Reporter

    ""Hall"s hospice experience is an excellent means by which [director Edgar Barens] can honestly portray the prison system. Prison Terminal hardly masks the brutal realities of the penitentiary, but its warm presentation of the inmate volunteers of the hospice and the interaction between prisoners and guards (and the families of guards) emphasizes the humanity of everyone involved, including the convicted felons." " Nonfics

    " 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

    "The simple, stark scenes of lifers tending to other lifers shakes a lot of assumptions about prison life and makes a quiet point about the rising number of elderly inmates in America"s prisons."- The Salt Lake Tribune

    “Highly Recommended.”– Educational Media Reviews Online

       1/2 "A powerful portrait that touches on a wide range of issues, this is highly recommended." - Video Librarian

    "Prison Terminal is a remarkably brave and unflinching film, and its short running time makes it brisk and powerful. Jack and the prison provided unprecedented access to a poignant process that had no fixed timetable. However one feels about homicide (and it is difficult not to have some empathy with Jack's motives) or the death penalty, this memorable and emotional film demands that we think about the consequences of our sentencing policies and of our treatment of people whom we have condemned to life and death in jail." - Anthropology Review Database

    Further Reading

    ABC NEWS - 'Prison Terminal': Kidnappers Care for Murderers at End of Life: (FULL STORY)


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