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Prisoner's Cinema
hd video | rt 30:00 | 2014

Another curious element is that it seemed that I was seeing images from the dreams I had that afternoon. But these images were appearing from end to beginning, like a film reel running backwards. I also couldn't properly situate them.
-Elizam Escobar, Anti-Diarios de Prisión

After prolonged incarceration and sensory deprivation, some prisoners experience visual hallucinations filled with extraordinary luminescence and color. These hallucinations are sometimes referred to as 'prisoners' cinema'. Elizam Escobar is a Puerto Rican artist and writer who served 19 years in US prisons for the crime of seditious conspiracy. Escobar never experienced these visual hallucinations, but his writing during these years evidences an extreme and sometimes painful attention to mental processes, and an expanded sensorial, emotional and intellectual internal life. Prisoner's Cinema is the film that might have been imagined by Escobar during these years of imprisonment. The words in the film are taken from what Escobar has called his prison Anti-diary, a record of the thought processes that ran parallel to his painting, poetry and essays from 1988 to 1995.