Andree Ljutica recently completed his short film, Seven Hundred Fifty-Six, a short documentary about Leah, a woman who works across New York City replenishing PPE kits for various businesses, all the while acclimating to life away from twenty-two years in prison.
According to Cornell researchers, nearly half of Americans have a close family member who has been incarcerated. With such staggering numbers overwhelming our industrialized prison complex, it's astonishing that talking about felons without a tinge of discomfort still exists. Moreover, formerly-incarcerated, or justice-involved people still face tremendous social stigmas when attempting to reenter society. With both parents having been incarcerated, I've witnessed first hand the emotional confusion that reentry can enable. In our film and in real life, Leah typifies feminine strength through her role as a mother, grandmother, care-taking daughter, and community mentor. To this end, it felt more appropriate to focus squarely on her character as opposed to the cold data around incarceration, compelling as they may be. We took an artful and deeply intimate look into how different life as a formerly incarcerated person on parole is, in an attempt to evoke empathy and ultimately galvanize reform efforts.
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