Life behind bars is not something we typically think about. William Shakespeare probably did not entertain the notion of real life criminals acting out his final great play, The Tempest, either.
A true-life documentary of convicted murderers and thieves, Shakespeare Behind Bars digs within the walls of Kentucky’s Luther Luckett prison and unfolds one of the most interesting but intriguing stories of our day.
A novice Shakespearean at best, I was compelled with emotion watching hardened criminals trying to come to terms with themselves, forgiveness, and redemption. Their fuel is a passion to act and be productive within the walls of prison.
This documentary guides you through an entire year of incarceration with a handful of criminals who also play the roles of murderers, thieves, and fugitives in The Tempest. Some don’t make it. Some go to the ‘Hole’. Some are transferred to maximum security. One is so moved by the Shakespeare opportunity that he gave up two months of early parole to finish what he started.
All is a surprise in this 93 minute DVD with another 45 minutes of behind the scenes. The Tempest underlying theme of foregiveness is at the very heart of this documentary.
A film written and directed by Hank Rogerson, Shakespeare Behind Bars will leave you considering the true possibility of transformation and redemption.
Mr. Spicy’s verdict? Absolutely rent this DVD.