THE WORK

GETHIN ALDOUS, JAIRUS MCLEARY

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Twice a year, Folsom State Prison invites members of the public to enter its gates to participate in a four-day program of intensive group therapy operated by a collective of category-four inmates. Known as ‘The Work’, the sessions expose unacknowledged layers of emotion and rage these hardened criminals have learnt to repress.

This powerfully intimate and raw documentary, winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at SXSW and the Audience Award at Sheffield Doc/Fest, follows the progress of three civilians who sign up for the programme for reasons that gradually become clear. The unique access to the retreat that co-directors McLeary and Aldous have achieved is a testament to the trust they have built with the organisers of ‘The Work’ through many years of volunteering and observing their practices.

 

89 mins, 2017, USA, Digital