Since many families will head to multiplex after Thanksgiving dinner, it seemed only right that during this usual time of reflection, we look back at the films and filmmakers who have made a difference this year onscreen and off and explain why we're thankful...
In Ava DuVernay's Sundance Film Fest-winning drama Middle of Nowhere, a woman (Emayatzy Corinealdi) chooses to stick by the side of her husband (Omari Hardwick) while he's serving an eight-year jail stretch. However, she has no choice in the way in which she communicates with him, constantly being told while visiting the prison to keep at a distance as if she were convicted of a crime herself or receiving a call at home that costs a small fortune to line the pockets of phone companies. In the latter case, Middle of Nowhere has transcended its story onscreen to rewrite it in reality for the public at large. The film, supported by TakePart's parent company Participant Media, has a social action campaign that is raising awareness of the exploitative business practice of charging up to $18 per 15 minutes for prison phone calls to families. The Wright Petition for fair prison phone rates has helped spur the Federal Communications Commission to look into new regulations that will bring down costs.
Sign a petition to end predatory prison phone rates here.
Photo: Middle of Nowhere