Sunday, 28 September 2014

Prison Movies that Set us Free

Watching a movie about incarceration and horrendous acts of violence can be disconcerting, but nonetheless compelling. Audiences flock to the cinema or look for free movies to watch online in order to witness the protagonist’s triumph over the evil antagonist or prison system. These films take us out of our comfort zone to momentarily set us free from the doldrums of daily life. Here are some titles that should be in any film junkie’s bucket list.

In the Name of the Father (1993)

Daniel Day-Lewis plays Irish citizen Gerry Conlon who is falsely accused of an IRA bombing and imprisoned with his father played by Pete Postlethwaite. Conlon’s struggle escalates after his father dies in prison. Conlon’s retribution is complete when he and his father are acquitted with the help of his advocate played by Emma Thompson.


Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Based on a true story, the film centres on Andy Dufresne (played by Tim Robbins) who is wrongly incarcerated. Dufresne is able to engineer his escape while shifting ill-gotten funds of Warden Norton (played by Bob Gunton) to himself. He meets characters like Red (played by Morgan Freeman) who show him the value of dignity and compassion.

American History X (1998)


Edward Norton shines in this disturbing tale of racism in America by playing Derek Vinyard who befriends white supremacists while serving a jail sentence. He eventually transforms after connecting with a black inmate played by Guy Torry. The tragic ending only serves to highlight the destruction that racism brings. 

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