Award-winning documentary Conviction envisions alternatives to prison
through the eyes of women inmates and those fighting on the front lines
of the decarceration movement
Canadians across the country will have the chance to see award-winning directors Nance Ackerman, Ariella Pahlke and Teresa MacInnes’ Conviction which makes its broadcast premiere Sunday, December 1 at 9PM (EST) on the documentary Channel. As women become the fastest growing prison population worldwide, three female filmmakers collaborate alongside women inmates in provincial and federal prisons in Nova Scotia to imagine alternatives to incarceration with provocative and inspirational results.
Through intimate, first-hand accounts of the reasons for recidivism – sometimes as basic as a lack of adequate housing – a disturbing picture emerges of prison as a revolving door, failing inmates and society as a whole. The far-reaching alternatives envisioned in Conviction give voice to the womens’ struggles and coalesce with those advocating on the front-line in an urgent appeal for change.
“Women are the fastest growing prison population, particularly Indigenous and other racialized women, poor women, and those with past trauma and resulting mental health and addiction challenges. Over the past three decades, criminal legal and penal systems were more punitive and dehumanizing” says Canadian Senator Kim Pate. “Canada can and should be demonstrating international leadership by decarcerating and promoting human rights and substantive equality.”
In a country where billions of tax dollars are spent jailing the most marginalized in ever worsening conditions, this films challenges viewers to consider whether Canada’s resources could be rediverted and reinvested in ways that address inadequate economic, social and health programs, alleviating discrimination and offering real opportunities for rehabilitation.
On the heels of a successful festival circuit run where it was an official selection at Hot Docs, FIN Atlantic International Film Festival and the Vancouver International Film Festival, and winner of the Lunenburg Best Atlantic Filmmaker 2019 award, this must-see, urgent film sheds a sobering light on the troubling worldwide tendency to criminalize and imprison the most vulnerable in society. Conviction is a raw cinematic testament that insists we invest in people, not prisons.
Additional broadcast times:
Sun Dec 1 at 12AM & 3AM (ET)
Tues Dec 3 at 11AM, 3PM & 7PM (ET)
Sun Dec 8 at 6AM, 11AM & 4PM (ET)
Photo credit: Ariella Pahlke, 2018