Serving Life

2013

Serving Life

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Director Lisa Cohen's gritty yet heartfelt documentary Serving Life takes viewers inside one of the most brutal of all U.S. prisons, the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola. It's a maximum security facility conceived and designed for violent offenders, and most residents end up serving sentences in excess of 90 years - which means that 85% of them die behind bars. Intriguingly, though, a wellspring of compassion exists inside of the prison, which forms the narrative basis of Cohen's film. This is a hospice program, where jaded, seemingly unreachable criminals are assigned to care for fellow inmates on the prisoners' deathbeds. The result is often a journey of personal and spiritual transcendence that may give participants the only conceivable possibility of rehabilitation.

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