The Work

In this soul-bearing documentary, a mix of prisoners and outsiders undergo a voluntary group therapy session at Folsom State Prison dubbed “The Work”. There’s very little in the way of preparation before the film barrels over the audience with incredible outbursts of rage, mostly emitting from under a pile of tattooed bodies, where the person doing the wailing is usually buried. But first, there’s probably a few things you need to know: this is in fact a legit 4-day retreat, where inmates and guests from the outside world work through unresolved issues and exorcise suppressed rage, guilt and pain. It’s a real revelation witnessing the willingness of these hard-boiled lifers to help others, while keeping their own guard down the entire time. Director Jairus McLeary is a veteran of the program and will quickly make a convert out of the most sceptical viewer, just like he did with the volunteers he chose to focus on. Everyone can benefit from this man’s work.