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network 10/11/2014 - 01:00PM

New Acquisition: The Worst of the Worst

Cinema Politica is proud to announce that we have acquired the rights to screen the Yale Law School’s Visual Law Project film, THE WORST OF THE WORST, throughout our network.

THE WORST OF THE WORST offers a well-paced and unsettling look inside Northern Correctional Institute, Connecticut’s only super-max prison, and the collective suffering of its prisoners and guards alike. The interviews with former inmates and their families describe the anguish of solitary confinement, a supplementary punishment that often inflicts ongoing psychological suffering for the inmate even years after being released from prison. The harsh living conditions at Northern are as toxic to the guards as the prisoners: depression, anxiety, and even suicide rates are high among super-max guards who work in the same prison for more than 3 years. The film further indicts the judicial system by exploring the arbitrary nature with which solitary confinement is administered, and by revealing the extraordinary cost per prisoner incurred by local governments to operate such dehumanizing prisons.

Although the cruelties of the prison system are no stranger in contemporary fictitious film and television, THE WORST OF THE WORST is a sobering example of the real-life struggles to remain sane in a dehumanizing environment, and a stark reminder that prisoners are still human. The film’s severe but respectful treatment of human rights, mental health, and legal corruption make it a strong addition to any Cinema Politica program.