8.1/10
104
5 user 10 critic

The Work (2017)

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2:02 | Trailer
Set inside a single room in Folsom Prison, three men from the outside participate in a four-day group-therapy retreat with a group of incarcerated men for a real look at the challenges of rehabilitation.

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Set inside a single room in Folsom Prison, three men from the outside participate in a four-day group-therapy retreat with a group of incarcerated men for a real look at the challenges of rehabilitation.

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8 September 2017 (UK)  »

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Filmed in 2009. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Deeply intimate and moving
23 June 2017 | by See all my reviews

This film would not succeed without brilliant characters, brilliant moments and brilliant editing, and this film has all three, to the point that it's astonishing that this film isn't a work of complete fiction. There are so many intimate, raw, emotional breakthroughs, to the point that this film could have used some clearly defined moments of pure levity to avoid dulling them as the film goes on. This film's structure is incredibly well organized, with every character getting the spotlight in a way that seems bizarrely coordinated. There is so much character to all the characters, and they are all memorable. The filmmaker's ability to articulate the shared struggle made me cry, and as of writing this, this is the only film that has made me cry purely because of the quality of the filmmaking. It's especially impressive that not only that the three members of the public that are focused on have their moments of emotional enlightenment, but that their emotional struggles also seem thematically linked, and this thematic link is even acknowledged through a line of dialogue by one of the inmates. I sometimes forgot that I was watching a documentary because of how smooth the journey was, but even the elements of the film which remind me that this wasn't filmed in a controlled environment only enhanced their scenes. If this film turned out to be completely fabricated, I would not be surprised, nor would it devalue the film for me whatsoever.


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