2:47 pm …….. Rikers: An American Jail

Rikers: An American Jail

RIKERS is an unflinching documentary portrait of people who have been detained in New York City’s notorious Rikers Island Jail, a 400-acre island jail complex, located between the Bronx and Queens, virtually unnoticed to most city residents. The testimonies from these individuals reveal their experiences from time spent inside the walls of Rikers, spanning from 1980 until 2016. These are powerful and moving first-person accounts of what it’s like to survive the jail’s culture of violence and corruption.

Deploying a minimalist style, the film is structured around extensive interviews in which subjects recount their harrowing experiences. Their stories are interwoven, creating an archetypal narrative that begins with the journey over the single bridge into the island, and builds from initial minor incidents, to extortion and control exercised by gangs and corrections officers, and climaxing in frightening beatings and stabbings and the torture of solitary confinement.

At a time when there is a growing movement for criminal justice reform spreading throughout the nation, and a variety of investigations focused on Rikers, this film offers an original and compelling story of how we have too often locked away our humanity.

  • Mark Levin, Mark Benjamin
  • Rolake Bomgbose