UnLonely Film Festival 5

Beyond The Wire

After 33 years at Soledad State Prison in California, veteran Army Ranger Chris Pesqueira leans into a community of formerly incarcerated GIs for support as he reintegrates into society.

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Talking with others about a shared arts experience can enrich our perspectives. Watch this video to explore the film’s meaning and major themes a bit more.

Meet the Filmmaker

What is their why?

“I first became interested in mass incarceration and problems with the American justice system after volunteering with a soccer team that played against men housed at San Quentin State Prison in California. I was inspired by many of those men and the inmate-run programs they have developed in an effort to maintain their humanity in the face of a violent and toxic system. This experience prompted me to learn more about the history of mass incarceration and the prison abolition movement led in part by professor and activist Angela Davis. I began to notice that many images of incarcerated people in the media reinforce old stereotypes and entrenched systems of power – and I sought to make a film that would counter those images. Although the US has developed a prison-industrial complex that has locked up more people than any other nation on earth, many Americans remain disconnected from the communities most impacted by that system. I hope that art and film can connect otherwise disjointed communities and shine some light on the broken system we’ve built.”

Originally from Sudbury, MA, Ted earned a BA in Latin American and Iberian Cultures from Columbia University in 2010. He then went to teach English in Honduras, where he was inspired to film his first documentary, Olancho. In 2020 he earned an MFA in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University, where he directed four short documentaries that explore the relationship between masculinity, violence and the performance of each. He now lives in Long Beach, CA with his partner and a charm of hummingbirds.

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