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

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