EEC: Documentary Studies

Your responses to “The Prison in Twelve Landscapes”

The Econ Extra Credit Team Jun 24, 2021
Heard on:

This month’s documentary selection, “The Prison in Twelve Landscapes,” provided plenty of food for thought about the effects America’s multibillion-dollar prison industry, and incarceration in general, has on society and our economy.

Penny C. called it “very evocative,” adding that the film

“… shows the wide reach of incarceration into American life — beyond the particular incarcerated person. And how much one segment of our society is affected by our practice of incarceration.”

Chris B. had this to say:

“Watching this film made me so ashamed of this country. I am sure that the justice systems in many other countries are also not without corruption, but the fact that we tout this country as being such a model to emulate is laughable. It depicts such a large swath of capitalism gone wrong. There are far too many Americans who are trapped in the dystopian merry-go-round of convictions and parole for their entire lives.”

While filmmaker Brett Story said she made a point of not showing the prison itself in the movie, listener M.G.K. found that it still conjured up that imagery.

“What struck me was the lack of beauty in anything having to do with prisons. The injustice behind so much of it is bad enough but where are the compensations, the little acts of kindness, the gifts to the senses that nature and color, music and sometimes just good design brings. Decent meals? It is adding insult to injury in so many ways.”

We’ll be back next week with a preview of our July selection for the “Econ Extra Credit” documentary film series. For this next one, many of you will have the option of seeing it in person in a movie theater!

Got a documentary recommendation you’d like us to consider? Email us at

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