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Prison Valley: a web documentary

  • 1 Comment

Should I feel bad?

    I'm watching the show, and I'm very much enjoying it...

    ...but sometimes I am left with the impression that I'm missing something.

    For example, I just watched the sequence where the local Sheriff visits 'his' inmates in the county jail. He sits and chats with them... and the camera has this looooooong moving pause after each moment. It's suggesting that I'm supposed to feel something in this moment - the filmmakers are drawing attention to the moment...

    ...but it's just a Sheriff talking to the inmates in a jail.

    Am I supposed to be horrified? By what?

    Maybe it's the idea that imprisonment *itself* is supposed to horrify me? Am I supposed to hate the bars themselves? Is the idea that putting people in jail *at all* is an evil thing to do?

    Honestly, I can't make sense of it. Because if that *is* what the filmmakers are suggesting, they're not going to find much accord.

    That said, it's an *extraordinarily* well-made and well-intentioned piece of work. I just wish I understood the intention.
    Posted by Jason VandenBerghe
    Mar 30th 2011

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