Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Ariela goes to RIKERS (2016) DOC NYC 2016

Rikers documentary is the first documentary to focus exclusively on people who have survived the nightmare of being at Riker’s Island.

America has more people in jail than anywhere else in the world. There are 7,500 people at Rikers Island yearly. 80% of the people at Rikers Island have not been convicted of a crime. Most are waiting trial and can’t afford the $1,000 and below bail. 40% have a mental disorder. Nearly 40% who get out, come back in 3 years.

The documentary focused on several men and women who have made it to Rikers and back. The scary thing is that no story was unique. They all had horrible horrible stories. They told stories of how as soon as you entered it smells bad, and looks dirty. You need a weapon to protect yourself. The answer to violence is more violence. If someone is more violent, the other person backs down. You can’t show any signs of weakness. You have to do as you’re told or will get beaten up. The cops are corrupt. They sell drugs and cigarettes to the inmates. They rape the inmates. They beat them up. There were over 4,000 cases of guards using force in 2015 alone. Some men told stories of getting concussions, broken bones, one had to be in a wheelchair for a month and a half because he was so badly beat up. They tell stories of the horrible disgusting situation of solitary confinement. They tell stories of how their sanity got chipped away.

The film ends by telling where each person is now, which I always like. Next year there is going to be a vote on whether Rikers Island should be shut down or not.

This documentary was intense. It gives you an inside look at stories most of us are unaware of. It’s dark and depressing and horrible but I think this is a really important film for people to see

Rikers premiers Saturday November 12th at DOC NYC Festival, and will be screened on channel Thirteen on Tuesday November 15 at 10pm.

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