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Prison Images


Images from prisons, quotes from Robert Bresson and Jean Genet as well as documentaries from the Nazi period exist in dialogue with footage from surveillance cameras of maximum-security prisons in the United States. Prison Images offers a look at the new control technologies, at personal identification devices, electronic ankle bracelets and other tracking devices. Cinema has always been attracted to prisons and today’s prisons are full of video surveillance cameras. These images are unedited and monotonous; as neither time nor space is compressed, they are particularly well-suited to conveying the state of inactivity into which prisoners are placed as a punitive measure. What kinds of images have been produced by the surveillance cameras and training videos for prison personnel? In Farocki’s film, the penal institution becomes an anthropological laboratory, in which life and death are rehearsed in front of the camera’s unblinking eye.

DE / FR, 2000, 60 min, OmU
Directed by Harun Farocki
Begin 8:30 pm
Admission free