The Farm: Life Inside Angola Prison (1998)

The Farm: Life Inside Angola Prison




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This documentary about life among the 5,000 inmates of America's largest maximum security prison, Louisiana State Penitentiary, was the co-winner (with Frat House) of the Documentary Grand Jury award at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. Filmmakers Jonathan Stack and Liz Garbus worked closely with their guide, prisoner-turned-author Wilbert Rideau, the editor of a prison magazine. The film focuses on the stories of six prisoners, including nervous newcomer George Crawford; elderly Eugene "Bishop" … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Special Interest
Directed By: , , ,
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 30, 1999
Gabriel Films



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Critic Reviews for The Farm: Life Inside Angola Prison

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (2)

Full Review… | December 1, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 12, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

An eloquent documentary relating an inmate's point of view of being incarcerated in what very well might be the most dangerous and bloody prison in America.

Full Review… | January 28, 2004
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The terrible realities of incarceration...seem to accumulate as the film unfolds, and they stay with you long after you've left the theatre.

Full Review… | June 10, 2002
Film Journal International

This riveting documentary will fuel your moral rage against institutionalized injustice.

Full Review… | March 3, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

June 26, 2005

Audience Reviews for The Farm: Life Inside Angola Prison

For the most part, this is a very average documentary. However, there are a couple of things that are compelling. As far as the "documentary exposing injustice" portion of things, there's a parole hearing you want to see. It really shows the not necessarily malevolent, but totally apathetic attitude toward the prisoners. They clearly do not care about the guy trying to file additional evidence. In the "broader theme" portion of things, it was interesting to see just how comforting religion was to the prisoners who were lifers or on death row. It would have been interesting to get another viewpoint, though. The God angle is not a new one. And it leads to a slight touch of cynicism when you're talking about every life prisoner filing endless appeals. When it comes to shortcomings, there are several things I wish would have been examined more, such as the humiliating process before visits and possible grouping of prisoners into gangs or other social units. Also the pace was pretty slow. In the end, I regard this doc as slightly above average.

I've watched this movie more than once. A snapshot of the lives of men on death row. Not explicitly about racism or race-relations but some scenes are eye opening to how the sin of racism contributes to getting and keeping some of the black men in prison for life. The stories of these men are continued on fan websites.

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