Partners: A ‘Frontline’ production with Mongoose Pictures in association with the BBC; distributed by PBS International
Length:1 x 53 minutes
Aired: April 2014 (PBS)
Rights available: Worldwide
The New York Times, in advance of this ‘Frontline’ documentary’s U.S. premiere, called Solitary Nation “about as hopeless an hour of television as you can imagine, which is exactly the reason to watch it.” For the first installment of a two-part report on the prison system in America, producer/director Dan Edge gained rare access to the solitary confinement unit at the maximum security Maine State Prison, where a new warden is trying to reduce the number of inmates in segregation.
As the NYT suggests, it’s not a doc for the faint of heart, but as a window into the world of solitary confinement – from the vantage points of both inmates and the officers overseeing the unit – it’s completely engrossing.