In Prison My Whole Life (2008)
Critics Consensus: A disappointing and unfocussed death row documentary that deals with many worthy issues, but struggles to find its voice.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
Since his incarceration in 1982 for allegedly shooting a Philadelphia policeman to death, Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal has awaited execution on Death Row, vociferously protesting his innocence; he now qualifies as one of the most famous Death Row inmates in the world. Currently an author of five tomes and an on-air personality who broadcasts over the phone from prison, Abu-Jamal carries the support of no less than Nelson Mandela and the administrators of Amnesty International, who believe in and fervently argue his innocence. Filmmaker Marc Evans's documentary In Prison My Whole Life witnesses William Francome, a British man who was born on the same day as the shooting, traveling to the prison where Abu-Jamal is held to investigate the details of the man's case. The film witnesses Francome learning about the initial events of that terrible night that led to Abu-Jamal's arrest and conviction, the allegations that the trial itself was unfair, and the city where it all happened - and investigating the moral and ethical dilemmas that have turned Abu-Jamal into a touchstone for the global crusade against capital punishment. Participants include belletrist Alice Walker, social activist Noam Chomsky and rapper Snoop Dogg. … More
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Critic Reviews for In Prison My Whole Life
This subjective approach subsumes the film's powerful subject, making 'In Prison My Whole Life' just another self absorbed agit-prop documentary.
The legitimate case for death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal's retrial gets another airing in British helmer Marc Evans' unfocused, oddly naive In Prison My Whole Life.
A worthy film, highlighting what seems to be a rank injustice, but one that is irritating and poorly put together.
Essentially a Trojan-horse documentary that purports to deal with the crime, it is actually a discussion on race, politics and the American psyche.
While some of the testimony, from the likes of Steve Earle and Mos Def is powerful, many of the parallels Francome and Evans attempt to draw feel slightly spurious and their conclusions lack sufficient back up.
It's something you need to see if you don't know anything about Mumia or if, somehow, you missed the notion that bigotry is rampant on the police force.
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