Preview Screening and Discussion
with Director Brett Story
Co-presented by Gallery 400
Run of Life Experimental Documentary Series
Wednesday, June 8, Free
6 pm- Exhibition Viewing / 7 pm- Screening
Gallery 400, 400 S. Peoria, Chicago, IL 60607
Inspired by “our duty to fight”, Gallery 400 and Run of Life are pleased to present Brett Story’s astute and affecting documentary, The Prison in Twelve Landscapes (2016, HD file, 87 min). A longtime prison activist, Story uses a strong structural device to make visible the many sprawling effects of the contemporary American prison system. From the construction of pocket-parks in Los Angeles designed to keep sex offenders out of the neighborhood to a New York City warehouse that specializes in helping families provide care packages to prisoners, The Prison in Twelve Landscapes deftly eschews the romanticized themes of forgiveness traditional to prison documentaries in exchange for the more consequential web of systemic forces buttressing mass incarceration. Story also employs a wide range of documentary tactics; the connections to the prison institution are clearly laid out in some sections of the doc, while others leave more open space for the viewer to build the relationships themselves, a tactic that encourages further interaction with the central ideas of the movie long after the screening has ended. The Prison in Twelve Landscapes is an important movie and possibly represents a new and sophisticated mode of social justice documentary making.
“It’s not this, that or “a” prison she’s looking for, it’s “The Prison” as institution and idea, American style. Her idea about that idea is clever, damning, and convincing: that to best understand the culture of incarceration in 2016 isn’t to film inside but rather outside of correctional facilities, where America’s prison industrial complex affects innumerable and fundamentally vital aspects of life—from laws and economies to the ways we treat and understand one another.” -Eric Hynes, Film Comment
Brett Story is a writer and independent non-fiction filmmaker based out of Toronto and New York. Her first feature-length documentary, the award-winning Land of Destiny (2010), screened internationally and was broadcast on both Canadian and American television. Her journalism and film criticism have appeared in such outlets as CBC Radio, The Nation Magazine, and Antipode. She was the recipient of the Documentary Organization of Canada Institute’s 2014 New Visions Award and was a nominee for the 2015 Ontario Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts. Brett holds a PhD in geography from the University of Toronto and is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Place, Culture and Politics at the City University of New York Graduate Center. The Prison in Twelve Landscapes, Brett’s second feature-length documentary, is currently screening at festivals internationally.
Gallery 400‘s current exhibition, our duty to fight will be on view preceding the screening. Organized by Black Lives Matter Chicago, our duty to fight offers a living testament to the specific and shared struggles that have been at the core of radical, visionary world-making in Chicago organizing. The exhibition invites visitors to join the struggle against state repression and terror while working to build collective power.
Run of Life is a collectively curated experimental documentary and expanded media series held at the Nightingale Cinema and/or other venues roughly once a month. The series pairs a recent feature experimental documentary with a short nonfiction work in any number of mediums – performance, video short, interactive presentation, audio doc, etc. At each event, a post screening Q&A will be moderated by either a local expert engaged in the movie’s subject matter or an artist involved in the making of the work. RUN OF LIFE seeks to join experimental and documentary media audiences while exploring emerging tactics within representations of reality; the empathetic connection that is built through sensory experience rather than factual arguments; and aesthetic shifts in documentary that come with the breakdown of the fourth wall. RUN OF LIFE is programmed by Jillian Hansen-Lewis, Yana Kunichoff, Christy LeMaster & Beckie Stocchetti.
Filed under: archival, artist in attendance, documentary, experimental, social justice, surveillance, Uncategorized, video