The WorkHD Closed Captioning
Jairus McLeary & Gethin Aldous
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About the Movie
Set inside a single room in Folsom Prison, "The Work" follows three men from outside as they participate in a four-day group therapy retreat with level-four convicts. Over the four days, each man in the room takes his turn at delving deep into his past. The raw and revealing process that the incarcerated men undertake exceeds the expectations of the free men, ripping them out of their comfort zones and forcing them to see themselves and the prisoners in unexpected ways. "The Work" offers a powerful and rare look past the cinder block walls, steel doors and the dehumanizing tropes in our culture to reveal a movement of change and redemption that transcends what we think of as rehabilitation.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 53
- Fresh: 53
- Rotten: 0
- Average Rating: 8.2/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Opening an aperture into a process so ego-stripping that it feels unseemly to witness, "The Work" is enlightening yet also punishing.
Fresh: Say what you will about prison's capacity to reform, but this documentary makes clear that in its own special way, the "work" is working.
Fresh: The movie valuably demonstrates how, for some, when it comes to rehabilitation, it's never too late to do "the work."
Fresh: A riveting group encounter.
The Ultimate Emotional Audit
Dante's story toward the end of the movie is critical viewing. To feel that the one thing in life that keeps you motivated to live is being kept away from you is hearbreaking enough. Add to that losing your freedom for decades, living in a system that all but disregards your humanity, and dealing with your own shame and regret of landing in that very system. What does it feel like to have absolutely no hope as a human being? And how do you find just enough to stay around for the likely event you'll see your son again? This movie is a must see to really help you gain a much more profound respect for life and your personal freedoms.
Deep Dive Inside
This film invokes awe. True awe. This film brings up major questions around how we as a society percieve our own emotional, psychological world; how we perceive incarcerated people and what is possible when people really, really, truly, want to change who they are. I saw this at the SXSW premiere at it took my breath away. The raw, deep, unflinching glimpse into the emotional and psychological worlds of incaercerated individuals co-mingled with some brilliant healers and just some regular guys from the outside world left me speechless and in awe. It has inspired me to look more closely at my own life as a man, husband, father, son, brother, and friend. It won the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW.