16 BARS

OPENS FRIDAY, FEB. 7

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“…a vital and involving portrait.”
– Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times

The feature length music documentary 16 Bars had its World Premiere as the DocLands 2018 Closing Night Film, bringing audiences to their feet, and encouraging generous altruism from patrons. The film offers a rare glimpse at the human stories — and songs — that are locked away in our nation’s jails and prisons, following a unique rehabilitation effort in the Richmond City Justice Center that invites inmates to write and record original music. In the jail’s makeshift recording studio, four men collaborate on an album with a Grammy-winning recording artist, Todd “Speech” Thomas, from the iconic activist hip-hop group Arrested Development. As the creative process unfolds, each of these men must unearth painful memories from the past, which hold a key to a new chapter in their lives. With the U.S. locking up more of its citizens per capita than any other nation on the planet, the music of the film serves as rare testimony to the raw and messy truth behind the criminal justice system’s revolving door. Director Sam Bathrick (US 2018) 94 min

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