Sundance Daze

Jan. 23, 2008
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Sundance Film Festival

Park City Utah - Day 7

Only at a film festival can you have one of your best experiences watching 12 year-old children, and younger, in prison. Seriously.

Looking closely at children locked up inside an unnamed Russian prison, Alone in Four Walls is first a reavealing look at a humanitarian and economic crisis and second a cinematic experience of aesthetic precision that rivals some of Kubrick's best work. The children are locked up inside a prison that resembles a strick boarding school more than a Rikers Island style prison. They are clothed, fed well, educated and led on a daily exercise. When compared to their lives at home, their current life in prison is a reprieve.

At the core of the film are interviews with the children. The interviews border on the surreal. You hear kids discussing their lives of crime and impoverishment as if their discussing their last little league baseball game. These interviews are an incredibly honest and emotionally revealing portrait of children forgotten by society.

The photography, sound and editing of the film create a spellbinding portrait of the prison and the kids life their. This aesthitic treatment of life in the prison adds to the other worldly nature of the story.

The film ends with a chilling fact, 91% of these children well end up back in prison as adults.



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