Skip to main content
  1. AXS Entertainment
  2. Arts & Entertainment
  3. Performing Arts

Gangsters and real-life behind bars. All true. All scary.

See also

An ordinary boy raised in a rough neighborhood becomes an infamous crime boss in Gangster, hitting DVD and VOD July 22 from Inception Media Group.
What makes it even better is that this is a true story, based on the true life and crimes of notorious gangster Paul Ferris.
Brought up in the ’60s, on the roughest streets in Scotland’s most-vicious neighborhood, teen-aged Paul Ferris (Martin Compston) exacts revenge one-by-one on a band of bullying street thugs who made his childhood a living hell.
Ferris’ criminal misconduct worsens when he begins working for two rival gang bosses. After a brutal betrayal leads to a bloody massacre on the streets of Glasgow, Ferris decides to go it alone.
Carving out a dangerous and savage career, defined by violence, corruption and murder, Paul “The Wee Man” Ferris ends up becoming one of the most feared gangsters in history.

Gangsters eventually go to jail, so what way to prepare you that by watching two riveting (and scary) PBS Distribution DVDs?
When filmmaker Dan Edge was granted access to the solitary-confinement unit inside Maine’s maximum-security state prison in Warren, he knew it would be eye-opening, but he never expected the level of sensory overload he would experience. “People think the solitude is what drives prisoners crazy, but it’s actually the noise,” Edge says. “It’s so loud and awful, and it never stops.”
In Solitary Nation, Frontline gives a visceral portrait of life in solitary, told through the inmates living in isolation, the officers watching over them, and the new warden who is desperately trying to reform the system.
With these previously unheard voices as its jumping-off point, the film deeply examines the use and impact of solitary confinement. On any given day, about 80,000 Americans are held in solitary. Critics say the practice is inhumane and counterproductive, and now some states are trying to curtail its use. Solitary Nation follows the efforts of Rodney Bouffard, the new warden at Maine’s maximum-security state prison, who is trying to move some inmates out of solitary.
“It’s really dangerous. You could have someone in here on a five-year commitment. They could do their whole time in segregation. But I don’t want him living next to me when we release him,” Bouffard tells Frontline.. “For the normal person who doesn’t work in a facility like this, they’re thinking if you punish them, you’ll make them better. The reality is the exact opposite happens.”
The second film, Prison State, takes an intimate look at the cycle of mass incarceration in America and a statewide effort to reverse the trend. There are roughly 2.3 million people behind bars in the United States, with a disproportionate number coming from a few city neighborhoods. In some places, the concentration is so dense that states are spending millions of dollars a year to lock up residents of single blocks.
More than two years in the making, Prison State focuses on one troubled housing project in Louisville, Ky., where a large number of residents have been incarcerated. The film follows the lives of four individuals rotating between custody and freedom:
• Keith Huff, one of Kentucky’s most expensive inmates, who has been in and out of prison for the past 40 years
• Christel Tribble, 15, now facing juvenile incarceration for persistent truancy
• Charles McDuffie, an addict and Vietnam veteran suffering from PTSD
• Demetria Duncan, a 14-year-old who has been locked up by juvenile authorities four times
Using deep access to the Louisville jail, Prison State focuses on the efforts of Mark Bolton, the city’s director of corrections, as he tries to move inmates back into the community.

Advertisement

Today's top buzz...

  • Jack White
    Jack White has played the longest show of his career, going for over three hours
    Music Buzz
  • Donald Sterling
    Donald Sterling loses big in court, Clippers sale will proceed
    Video
    Today's Buzz
  • Steve Nash
    The Los Angeles Lakers will not use stretch provision on Steve Nash
    NBA Buzz
  • Peter Gabriel
    Peter Gabriel revisits classics in new concert film 'Back to Front'
    Camera
    20 Photos
  • Train
    Train rocks an outdoor show with old favorites and new hits in Tahoe
    Camera
    15 Photos
  • Rascal Flatts
    Rascal Flatts to perform at Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.
    Camera
    11 Photos