Lock-Up: The Prisoners of Rikers Island


Crime / Documentary

IMDb Rating 7.9 10 116

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
February 22, 2021 at 11:55 PM



692.49 MB
English 2.0
29.97 fps
1 hr 15 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by aliceboy 8 / 10

Relentlessly bleak

In all honesty, I started watching this on the suspicion that it may have been the source of comedian Chris Rock's 'Salad-Tossin' Man' routine. It wasn't, but I'm certainly glad I saw it anyway. This is a fairly frank (if somewhat dated now) look at prisoners' life within the prison system on Riker's Island in New York. It tries in an hour and a half to cover the various buildings and prisoner-groups housed across the island. At times the narrative is a little choppy and the camera work is entirely freehand. In spite of this, we are given chilling insight into the truly awful conditions in which these people live. Sprinkled throughout the film footage are numerous startling facts and statistics dealing both with Riker's in specific and the American prison system in general. Many of the inmates on Riker's, as we see here, are charged but not yet convicted, some are mentally ill, MANY are drug addicts in dire need of rehabilitation more than incarceration, some of the women are pregnant and give birth in the prison (there were, at the time of filming, twice as many births as deaths on Riker's) and most are very poor. If nothing else, this is yet another indictment of both the American prison system and the American economic system, both of which conspire to keep poor, uneducated people poor and uneducated...and in prison. Though at writing this film is a decade and a half old, this writer doesn't imagine things on Riker's have changed, save for the worse. This documentary remains vital, poignant and moving. Certainly, this is recommended viewing, but not for the weak of heart.

Reviewed by vincent-27 8 / 10

a frank look at prison life

not quite "Oz" but similar. I think much of footage was "softened" by the fact that the guards and prisoners were on best behavior for the cameras. Many of the prisoners just seem emotionally messed up people, depressed and unloved, but other like the "Eddie White" guy just seems to actually enjoy playing the legal system and what you would call a "bad apple". For the others, it seems highly cruel punishment to lock up emotionally unbalanced people in solitary confinement, it is too bad that we can't somehow identify the Eddie Whites and somehow rehabilitate the others who just seem lost, desperate, poor and lonely. The female prison was especially sad since many of them were pregnant and one of the mothers gave birth in the prison. The other had a miscarriage although they wouldn't tell her why or let her see the body. Another male prisoner comments how he was "born in prison". At first you think it is a figure of speech but then you realize it really happens. What kind of life can a child like that expect to have, especially in the unforgiving United States?

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