The Farm: Life Inside Angola Prison

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Culture Documentary published by A&E in 1998 - English narration

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Image: The-Farm-Angola-USA-Cover.jpg

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Angola Prison in Louisiana is the biggest maximum security prison in the country. This is where the most dangerous criminals go and where parole hearings are a mere formality. A startling 85 percent of all inmates die inside. A small video crew was given unprecedented access to the inmates, of which six were chosen from 5,000 to give a portrait of life in the facility, also known as "the Farm." Two of the men continue the fight to prove their innocence. Two veterans have found redemption in personal transformations, one man as a prison activist, the other as a preacher. Two men prepare for death--one faces execution, the other is being eaten away by cancer. It's unlikely any of them will emerge from prison alive.

What begins as a traditional documentary transforms into an investigation of the human spirit, of hope in the face of hopelessness. We see the parole board pass judgment before the applicant even makes his case and make their decision before the door has closed behind him. Yet this is not so much a work of investigative journalism as a cultural study. What the viewer comes away with is a glimpse into an almost surreal atmosphere best defined by an incongruously chipper clown who wanders the halls on Christmas Eve to cheer up the prisoners in isolation. On the surface this seems like a well-integrated, safe, supportive environment, but under the surface of normalcy is a mix of doom and hope. --Sean Axmaker

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video:
  • Runtime -> 89 minutes
  • Codec -> DivX 5.0
  • Bitrate -> 604 kb/s
  • x:y -> 352x256
  • FPS -> 29.971
  • Audio:
  • Codec -> MPEG-1 Layer 3
  • Bitrate -> 64 kb/s (32/ch, stereo) CBR
  • Fs -> 44100 Hz

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Added by FragaCampos
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