USA, 2017 (MIFF 2017, Documentaries)

Director: Gethin Aldous,Jairus McLeary

America's most hardened criminals share their demons with the everyday public during the world's most intense group therapy session in this SXSW Grand Jury Prize winner.

Behind the bars of Folsom Prison, a grab-bag of gangsters, thugs and murderers are getting in touch with their emotions, to understand where it all went wrong. And they're doing it side by side with a group of free men, who are trying to do exactly the same thing. Welcome to the Inner Circle's four-day, all-in group therapy inferno where the entire spectrum of lost men and corrupted masculinity is thrown into vivid, eye-watering relief.

Guided by co-directors Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous' own firsthand experiences as facilitators with the Inner Circle program, The Work is an unflinching and powerful feature documentary debut, that took home the Sheffield Doc/Fest Audience Award. A work of cinéma-vérité that's legitimately shocking in its intimacy and rawness, it is empathetic filmmaking of the highest order – a first-hand tour of the rage, futility and pain that scars modern manhood.

'Remarkable …. Say what you will about prison's capacity to reform, but this documentary makes clear that in its own special way, the 'work' is working.' – Variety

See also...


Mahinder Watsa is 93 years old and the Mumbai Mirror's resident sexpert. Vaishali Sinha introduces us to a man who's heard it all and is fighting for a fairer, freer and more loved-up India. ... Since... More »


Full of gorgeous Tuscan scenery and architecture, this new documentary from the team behind Marwencol is an affectionate ode to tradition and community in a rapidly changing world. ... Every summer, f... More »


Step inside the world of fashion’s former enfant terrible Zac Posen, from the clothes to the celebrities and the controversies to the comeback. ... He started an atelier in his parent’s house, came to... More »


Awards won at CPH: DOX, Sheffield Doc/Fest and Sundance are unlikely to be the last for City of Ghosts, Matthew Heineman's extraordinary exposé on the citizen journalists fronting the war on ISIS.... More »


Winner of a Sundance Special Jury Prize for Inspirational Filmmaking, STEP is a hope-filled crowd pleaser profiling the Lethal Ladies step-dancing team as they aim for glory, and graduation. ... Again... More »


Growing from a video diary director Jennifer Brea made for her doctors, Unrest takes an intimate and stirring look at the lives of those suffering from a widely misunderstood disease. ... At 28, Harva... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director