The Cleveland International Film Festival promotes artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community.
Run Time: 105 minutes
NO CLOSED CAPTIONING AVAILABLE
The United States is home to a startling statistic: the country currently has a higher percentage of its population in prison than any other society in the history of western civilization. Yet, mass incarceration does little to address the underlying disparities and realities that drive crime in underserved communities. This was the case in Tacoma, Washington, in the 1980s and 1990s. Los Angeles gangs moved into the poor neighborhoods and easily recruited disenfranchised youth. FBI drug task forces created to end gang violence led a crackdown that imprisoned a community of teens. Due to biased Washington laws, many remain incarcerated almost 40 years later despite clear evidence of rehabilitation. Still, they organize inmate-led education programs and contemplate ways to improve their communities. SINCE I BEEN DOWN is a documentary that challenges our definition of justice by focusing on a group of inmates determined to create paths to education and healing from within their prison walls. — R.R.