The Films

What These Walls Wont Hold

Adamu Chan and Christian Collins

The COVID-19 crisis inside California prisons has claimed the lives of over 200 incarcerated people and infected tens of thousands more. This film tracks the origins of COVID-19 inside the California state prison system and a newly formed coalition, led by currently and formerly incarcerated people, that brought forward an abolitionist framework to a life or death situation. What These Walls Won’t Hold explores how relationships, built on trust, shared liberatory struggle, and connections across broader abolitionist organizing work, can unfold into sites of resistance and radical change.

Defund the Police

Project Nia

People have a lot of ideas about policing. And our ideas about policing are shaped by our race, our genders, our class, and our parents …. Dominant culture, especially mass media sells us the image of “Officer Friendly.” But whose experience is that actually based on?

I’m Free Now You Are Free

Ash Goh Hua and Arielle Knight

A short documentary about the reunion and repair between Mike Africa Jr and his mother Debbie—a formerly incarcerated political prisoner of the MOVE9. In 1978, Debbie, then 8 months pregnant, and many other MOVE family members were arrested after an attack by the Philadelphia Police Department; born in a prison cell, Mike Africa Jr. spent just three days with his mother before guards wrenched him away, and they spent the next 40 years struggling for freedom and for each other. In 2018, Mike Africa Jr. successfully organized to have his parents released on parole. “I realized that I had never seen her feet before,” was a remark he made when he reflected on Debbie’s homecoming. This film meditates on Black family preservation as resistance against the brutal legacies of state sanctioned family separation.

Practical Abolition

Amistad Law Project

Sending people armed with guns to respond to mental health crises and public nuisance complaints is dangerous. It is often counterproductive and sometimes fatal. But what could take the place of policing? And in response to an epidemic of homicide, what are ways that we can keep our communities safer? In collaboration with artist Erik Ruin, Amistad Law Project staked out a creative path in lifting up alternatives to policing. This video highlights the need to mobilize emergency resources for communities hardest hit by gun violence. We need to harness our creative energies to imagine the policies and programs which can replace policing and make us safer. And we need to harness our creativity to communicate those ideas too.

Calls from Home

Sylvia Ryerson, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Mimi Pickering, and Reuben Atlas

In an intimate portrait of rural prison expansion, Calls from Home, documents WMMT-FM’s longstanding radio show that sends messages over the public airwaves to reach those incarcerated in Central Appalachia. For many, the show provides a lifeline to the world outside. Sharing the stories of the family and friends who call in, and those who listen in from prison, the film portrays the many forms of distance that rural prison building creates—and the ceaseless search to end this system of mass incarceration and family separation.