Francesca Beale Theater
August 12, 2019
60 minutes, German with English subtitles
“The cinema,” writes Harun Farocki, “has always been attracted to prisons. Today’s prisons are full of video surveillance cameras. These images are unedited and monotonous; as neither time nor space is compressed, they are particularly well-suited to conveying the state of inactivity into which prisoners are placed as a punitive measure.” In this probing essay film, Farocki appropriates the internal recordings of the U.S. carceral apparatus, homing in on revealing details. These scenes are also counterposed with a variety of related materials, like sequences from Robert Bresson’s A Man Escaped and Jean Genet’s Un Chant d’amour, as he considers the detention center’s far-reaching architecture of social control, and makes visible an America designed to be hidden.
Prison Images is part of "Another Country: Outside Visions of America" film series curated by Thomas Beard, Shanay Jhaveri, and Dan Sullivan. In these films one encounters many Americas, perspectives on a nation that reveal the peculiarities of its customs, the drama of its natural splendor, and the lacerating contradictions of its political mythologies.
Please visit THE LINCOLN CENTER for more information.
Image: Still from Prison Images (2000)