Today's Suggestion? A Documentary About Shakespeare In Prison

A number of years ago during my pre-Wyoming days in SoCal -- days that seem like increasingly distant memories, really -- I had the very great opportunity (and pleasure) to participate in the Ojai Film Festival. In addition to working as a projectionist, I was part of the selection process, which meant that I got to watch (and then rank) submissions to the festival.

It was great fun every year, but most of the films only stuck with me for a few months. I suspect part of this was that I was watching so many of them in a short period of time (while ranking them) that they blended together a bit, but part of it was surely do to the fact that they weren't all worthy of remembering for more than a few months.

There are a handful of exceptions, however, and today's Streaming Video Suggestion (SVS) is one of them: Shakespeare Behind Bars, now streaming on AMAZON PRIME INSTANT. I have no idea why it suddenly appeared there, some 10 years later. But I'm not complaining, because I'm happy for the chance to view it again. I remember it as very powerful stuff.

Twenty male inmates in a Kentucky prison form an unlikely Shakespearean acting troupe, rehearsing and performing a full production of Shakespeare's last play, "The Tempest," a play fittingly about forgiveness. Over the course of a year, these men are changed as they discover the power of truth, forgiveness and transformation. The play is directed by Curt L. Tofteland, whose "Shakespeare Behind Bars" program "offers "theatrical encounters with personal and social issues to incarcerated and post-incarcerated adults and juveniles, allowing them to develop life skills that will ensure their successful reintegration into society."
Attribution(s): All posters, publicity images, and stills are the property of Philomath Films and other respective production studios and distributors.