A Hard Truth

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The entrance to Pendleton Correctional Facility (formerly known as the Indiana Reformatory), Clarksville, Indiana. Credit: Wikipedia

Documentary filmmaker Madeleine Sackler had a crazy idea: She was going to shoot her first fiction film inside a real, working, maximum-security correctional facility, and use many of the men incarcerated there in speaking roles and as extras. But she ended up making two films inside the prison; a fiction film and a documentary. Together, O.G. and It’s a Hard Truth Ain’t It paint a more realistic vision of prison than we've probably ever seen on film.

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Documentary clips in today’s intro:

  • Daughter from Danang (2002): A mother and daughter separated by the end of the Vietnam War are reunited, but their happy ending is up-ended by cultural complexities in this heart-wrenching doc. (Kanopy)
  • A Great Day in Harlem (1995): The story and music behind one of jazz history’s most famous photographs – 57 of the greatest jazz musicians assembled together in front of a Harlem brownstone in the summer of 1958. (Amazon, YouTube)
  • Marjoe (1972): Grown-up former child evangelist Marjoe Gortner pulls back the curtain on the business side of tent revival evangelism. (Amazon, iTunes)




Matt Holzman