Shakespeare Behind Bars is a documentary film shot at the Luther Luckett Correctional Center, a prison in Kentucky. The project director Curt Tofteland had gone for Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and it was very applicable since the prison was a totally suitable place for such a play (Hagopian).
The shooting went pretty good and I admire the way the inmates cooperated with everything in spite of what they were; that is, criminals. They had been arrested for several different crimes; some soft like robbery and others quite terrible like raping minors. However, still they worked like professionals. I feel that the reason why these inmates helped out each other was due to their situation at that time. They must have been leading a totally boring life, cut off from the world and people, and something new made them rise and look forward. Another reason I would say is that they must have been treated with respect by the director and other professionals. Since he expected something of them they were willing to put in their efforts and give something back to him.
Regarding the acting, I feel that just anyone can act. One does not have to really take classes on acting in order to be able to go on stage. We know what it feels like when we lose someone, or become happy, and thus just reproducing such feelings is not really difficult. In this aspect also the inmates proved their worth.
The inmates had also admitted to their crime and I think this might have been a consequence of the professionalism they had gone through. The different characters that they had to play must also have had an effect upon them.
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