Director: Benjamin J. Harbert
Cast: Quincy Jones, Otis Williams, Yves Bourgeois
Running Time: 104 Minutes
This screening is part of the “Cultures of Incarceration Series”, presented by the Center for Law, Justice and Culture at Ohio University. “Cultures of Incarceration” is a three-film series showing at the Athena this spring and features three titles: THE HOUSE I LIVE IN, INTO THE ABYSS, and FOLLOW ME DOWN: PORTRAITS OF LOUISIANA PRISON MUSICIANS.
Following the screening of “Follow Me Down: Portraits of Louisiana Prison Musicians” will be a live discussion with the director, Benjamin J. Harbert.
Follow Me Down: Portraits of Louisiana Prison Musicians
FOLLOW ME DOWN is a feature-length documentary about music in prison. Shot over the course of two years in three Louisiana prisons, Georgetown ethnomusicologist Ben Harbert weaves together interviews and performances of extraordinary inmate musicians–some serving life sentences, some new commits and one soon to be released. The result, in essence, is a concert film, but instead of bright lights and big stages, these musicians rap in the fields while picking okra, soothe themselves with R&B in lockdown and create a cappella gospel harmonies. With unprecedented access and Harbert’s insistence on letting the music speak for itself, the film offers an unexpected look at prison life, pushing viewers to reach their own conclusions about criminality, regret, redemption, and the humanity in us all.