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Spring 2007
April 24, 2007

Shakespeare Behind Bars

Shakespeare Behind BarsUSA 2006, 93 min., documentary
Director: Hank Rogerson

As you from crimes would pardon’d be,
Let your indulgence set me free.
—The Tempest, Act V, Epilogue

A powerful documentary about a provocative and sometimes therapeutic theatre program at a Kentucky high security prison. Director Rogerson follows the course of a year as a group of inmates rehearse and perform Shakespeare’s final play, The Tempest. A volunteer Shakespearean actor and director, Curt Tofteland, has the inmates choose roles that reflect their feelings about themselves and their crimes. As the men delve deeper into their characters, the line between role and self
becomes blurred, and the play’s themes of forgiveness and redemption unlock long-buried emotions. “I don’t want to be remembered for the very worst thing that I’ve done,” says one inmate, yet this remarkable film never forces us to sympathize.

“A brilliantly evocative glimpse into society’s dark side...unforgettable.” G. Kent, SCFS


»  Official web site.

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