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Video: Huntsville Station

a film by Jamie Meltzer and Chris Filippone.

Every weekday, dozens of inmates are released on parole from Huntsville State Penitentiary, the largest prison release center in Texas. With a bus ticket voucher and $100 release check, most of them spend their first minutes out of prison on phone calls, cigarettes, and quiet reflection at the Greyhound station up the block. In this pivotal moment between incarceration and freedom, a myriad of complicated emotions arise before the bus arrives to take them home.

Running time: 14 minutes

Email subscribers may click on the title of this post to watch the film.


Word from the Jury

“Unanimously chosen, this magnificent film, deep, rare and moving, dominated the whole selection by its painful subject and its unique approach. In just 15 minutes, it comes to solicit our imaginations and ask us about the lives of these men imprisoned for so long at this precise moment when time stands still in this isolated bus station. This moment of transition on leaving prison when these men will have to apprehend a new freedom, without security, in great precariousness, brings us closer to their humanity and their emotions. The superb frames and the suspended mounting, made of real tableaux vivants, are at the service of a great and beautiful idea of cinema. A real moment of grace!”

Still shot from Huntsville Station

4 comments on “Video: Huntsville Station

  1. Terry Bohnhorst Blackhawk
    February 22, 2021

    Stunning and sobering. Allison Fine’s statements could not be more on point. We need more exposes of the human misery that this system manufactures although I doubt they’d be of much help. It’s been 15 years since Nick Szuberla’s documentary “Up the Ridge” was produced and it’s only gotten worse. My heart breaks, for these men, trying to be brave, with so little to look forward to.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. allisonfine
    February 21, 2021

    Stunning. And so deeply disturbing and touching. It makes me ask the question of what we are doing to our men, predominantly men of color, to incarcerate them and basically destroy their options? In addition, the systemic issues that put them in jail in the first place are what we really need to investigate. All around, the system we live in has left these men in between the cracks, and their thin support systems will guarantee that many of them will land back in jail again.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Vox Populi
      February 21, 2021

      Yes, the institutions are broken and all of us, especially men of color, are paying a price.

      Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on February 21, 2021 by in Art and Cinema, Social Justice and tagged , , , , .

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