The Farm: Angola, USA

Watch The Farm: Angola, USA

  • 1998
  • 1 hr 28 min
  • 7.5  (808)

The Farm: Angola, USA is a documentary film that provides an inside look into one of America's most notorious prisons, the Louisiana State Penitentiary, commonly known as Angola. Directed by Liz Garbus and Jonathan Stack, the movie takes a critical and impartial approach to the penal system, exploring the lives of inmates, guards, and other prison officials.

The documentary begins with an overview of the Angola Prison system and its history. Named after the plantation from which the prisoners initially came, Angola was established as a penal colony in 1901. Over the years, it has become one of the harshest and deadliest prisons in the United States. The film reveals that Angola had a reputation for being a virtual death camp, where convicts were subjected to inhumane treatment at the hands of brutal guards.

Through interviews with the inmates, the film provides insights into their backgrounds, their crimes, and their experiences in prison. In one scene, a young African American man who has been sentenced to life for a non-violent crime talks about his family and how he regrets the choices he made that led to his incarceration. Similarly, a group of elderly inmates, who have been imprisoned for over 30 years, share their stories of racial discrimination and abuse at the hands of the guards.

The documentary also features interviews with Angola's staff and administrators, providing a glimpse into their daily routines and the challenges they face in managing such a large and complex institution. The prison's warden, Burl Cain, is particularly notable in the film, and his controversial tactics and methods come under scrutiny.

Despite the harsh conditions and high levels of violence in Angola, the film does not aim to present a simplistic portrayal of the system as inherently evil. Instead, the documentary presents a nuanced and complex view of the penal system, revealing the humanity and complexity of the individuals who work and live within it.

One of the most striking parts of the film is the visual imagery captured by the filmmakers. The scenes of the prison yard, where the inmates gather for exercise, are particularly powerful, showing how human beings are reduced to mere numbers in a massive institutional system. The movie also reveals the beauty of Angola's rural landscape, providing a striking contrast to the bleakness of the prison environment.

The Farm: Angola, USA is a sobering and thought-provoking documentary film that explores the prison industrial complex and the many individuals whose lives are impacted by it. The movie tackles an important and complex issue with sensitivity and puts a human face on a subject that is all too often shrouded in stereotypes and misconceptions.

In conclusion, The Farm: Angola, USA provides an insightful and critical look into the Angola Prison complex. The documentary offers a glimpse into the lives of those who are incarcerated and those who work within the system, revealing the humanity and complexity of its inhabitants. Through its powerful visual imagery and compelling interviews, the film highlights the harsh realities of the prison-industrial complex and the ways in which it can dehumanize those within its walls.

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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 28 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (808)