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The Farm: Life Inside Angola Prison
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Product Description

Winner of the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury prize and the New York and Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Documentary of ¡®98, THE FARM is a graphic, painfully real documentary, following six inmates at America¡¯s most notorious prison.

Angola Prison in Louisiana is the biggest maximum security prison in the country. This is where the most dangerous criminals go and where parole hearings are a mere formality. A startling 85 percent of all inmates die inside. A small video crew was given unprecedented access to the inmates, of which six were chosen from 5,000 to give a portrait of life in the facility, also known as "the Farm." Two of the men continue the fight to prove their innocence. Two veterans have found redemption in personal transformations, one man as a prison activist, the other as a preacher. Two men prepare for death--one faces execution, the other is being eaten away by cancer. It's unlikely any of them will emerge from prison alive.

What begins as a traditional documentary transforms into an investigation of the human spirit, of hope in the face of hopelessness. We see the parole board pass judgment before the applicant even makes his case and make their decision before the door has closed behind him. Yet this is not so much a work of investigative journalism as a cultural study. What the viewer comes away with is a glimpse into an almost surreal atmosphere best defined by an incongruously chipper clown who wanders the halls on Christmas Eve to cheer up the prisoners in isolation. On the surface this seems like a well-integrated, safe, supportive environment, but under the surface of normalcy is a mix of doom and hope. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews:

  • A penetrating look at the realities of life in Angola
    This is simply a great film. I was touched by the film's balanced depiction of both the prison staff and the inmates. I especially enjoyed the in-depth interviews with several men serving time in Angola. Deep social questions are raised that are difficult. I think this film can help stimulate a helpful discussion of how to handle crime in our country. There has to be a better way than Angola....more info
  • The Farm: Life Inside Angola Prison.
    This film is free of Hollywood glamour, and you love it for just that reason. It's a great documentary, and definitely worth the price. About 15 minutes into the film you get that weird sensation in your throat, and have trouble swallowing. Everything becomes clear, from now on you'll be a preacher boy just to keep clear of Angola, and anything that could resemble it....more info
  • Most Amazing, Inside depth, Prison Documentary!!!
    It is no wonder this film took the 1998 Best Film documentary by the National Society of Film Critics,Association, and Oscar- nominated for Best Documentary. The Farm is the incredible and heart wrenching story of six inmates at Americas most infamous Prison...Angola, a former slave plantation spreading across 12,000 acres of Louisiana farmland. Do not miss this'll have a greater understanding oif how the system works and a sence of darkness of some lifes, and how the heart can cry out. Once you start watching, you won't want to be disturbed. 5***** all the way. Very touching!...more info
  • One of the best documentaries I have ever seen!!!
    The Farm is an honest, revealing look at life inside one of America's most notorious prisons. It is also a very stark look at some of the shortcomings of the American justice system (ex. Vincent Simmons). I show this documentary in my high school government classes to spark discussion on the justice system. My students are moved as am I. It should be required viewing for all law enforcement and judicial system employees. A must see!!!...more info
  • The muslums,and the other criminals have it easy
    This shows how easy life is on the inside and why should it be made easy for them? These people have killed,rapped,etc..I would say bring back the electric chair and let me pull the switch on them all....more info
  • a very powerful documentary
    *Add 1/2 of a star to my rating*

    I rank this film up there with my other favorite documentaries such as the "Up" documentaries and Bud Greenspan's Olympic documentaries. The film shows that racism is alive and well in our "justice" system. I was particularly moved by the man who says he was falsely charged with rape and the parole board refuses to hear exculpatory evidence about his case. This film will stick with you for a very long time. It's a shame that consevatives who believe that prison is a joke filled with luxuries ignore films like this.

    As a muslim, I wish they had shown the presence of Islam at Angola, for that reason I gave the film 4 1/2 stars....more info

  • Gripping documentary detailing the lives of six prisoners
    The Farm is easily the best documentary I have seen this year. It takes you on an inside look into the lives of six inmates at Angola State Prison. Ironically Angola was a slave plantation, it now is a maximum security prison. Not like other prison documentaries that I've seen. No preachiness. Just Powerful unintrusive film making. Check this out. It's worth it....more info
  • Wish it was on DVD
    This is one of the best prison documentaries I've seen: thought-provoking, real, and upsetting. I was relieved to learn that one prisoner, so obviously falsely-accused and revictimized by a racist parole panel for 20+ years, was later released after a public outcry when this documentary first aired. I have a homemade VHS of this program and would like to replace it but am not willing to pay $40 + shipping for another VHS. Wish it would come out on DVD. ...more info