Directed by: Angad Bhalla / USA, Canada, UK / English / 2012 / Documentary, Human Interest, Crime, Art / 80 minutes / San Diego Premiere
The injustice of solitary confinement and the trans formative power of art are explored in Herman's House, a feature documentary that follows the unlikely friendship between a New York artist and one of America's most famous inmates as they collaborate on an acclaimed art project.
In 1972, New Orleans native Herman Joshua Wallace (b. 1941) was serving a 25-year sentence for bank robbery when he was accused of murdering an Angola Prison guard and thrown into solitary confinement. Many believed him wrongfully convicted. Appeals were made but Herman remained in jail andto increasingly widespread outragein solitary. Years passed with one day much like the next. Then in 2001 Herman received a perspective shifting letter from a Jackie Sumell, a young art student, who posed the provocative question:
"WHAT KIND OF HOUSE DOES A MAN WHO HAS LIVED IN A SIX-FOOT-BY-NINE-FOOT CELL FOR OVER 30 YEARS DREAM OF?"
Thus began an inspired creative dialogue, unfolding over hundreds of letters and phone calls and yielding a multi-faceted collaborative project that includes the exhibition "The House That Herman Built." The revelatory art installationfeaturing a full-scale wooden model of Herman's cell and detailed plans of his dream homehas brought thousands of gallery visitors around the world face-to-face with the harsh realities of the American prison system.
But as Herman's House reveals, the exhibition is just the first step.
Official Selection: Hot Docs 2012, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2012
The Ocean Beach Playhouse (View)
4944 Newport Avenue
San Diego, CA 92107
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|