PBS explores 'College Behind Bars'

Sunday, 24 November 2019 12:00 AM Written by 

 

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Documentary filmmaker Lynn Novick, a frequent Ken Burns collaborator, makes her directorial debut with “College Behind Bars” (9-11 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, WQED-TV), a four-hour, narration-free film following a dozen incarcerated men and women as they work toward college degrees through the Bard Prison Initiative in New York.

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At the Television Critics Association summer 2019 press tour in Beverly Hills, Novick said the film does not shy away from exploring the crimes of the convicted.

We, over the course of making the film, got to know the students and find out more about their circumstances and how they came to be incarcerated and asked them to tell the story in their own words,” she said. “We judiciously and carefully, structured the film, working with our editor, Tricia Reidy, to make sure that that information comes about at the right time. I think we see a lot of documentaries and reality TV shows, etc., where you introduce someone, and the first thing you find out is they're labeled by their crime. And we felt very strongly that people are people and you should get to know them and find out more about them as you get to know them.”

 

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