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educational media on the critical issues of our times
A 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation

16 Bars

Starting at $89

A Film by Sam Bathrick and Adam Barton

94 minutes

Scene Selection • Closed Captioned

Grades 10 - Adult
Item #:SXB-1163

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DVD
K-12 Schools, Public Libraries, Community Groups - $89
Colleges, Businesses, Other Institutions - $295
Colleges (DVD with Digital Site License) - $395
With the United States locking up more of its citizens per capita than any other nation on the planet, one unique rehabilitation program in Richmond, Virginia aims to reduce recidivism rates via the creative process. 16 Bars follows four men who collaborate on an album with Grammy-winning artist Todd "Speech" Thomas to untangle painful memories of the past in order to begin a new chapter in their lives.

Set at the Richmond City Justice Center, De'vonte, Anthony, Garland, and Teddy are all awaiting either trial or release. Though the four men come from different walks of life, they are alike in their current situation as they sign up for various programs, one of them being access to the center's makeshift recording studio where they can write and record their own original music. With the help of Speech Thomas from the acclaimed musical group Arrested Development, the men are able to express themselves through music. The unique music of the film serves as rare testimony to the raw and messy truth behind the criminal justice system's revolving door. Reaching into their difficult pasts, the inmates transform their various experiences, hopes, and fears into powerful songs.


FILMMAKER'S STATEMENT: "I think we all know that there's an issue with mass incarceration. The stats and figures for the U.S. are staggering. It's a massive story and its hundreds of years old, and sometimes it feels too big to really even feel what it means. This film tells a micro-story: four men who are trapped in the system and trying to find a way out. Because the story finds these men writing music behind bars, their lyrics give viewers a really unique lens into the struggles (addiction, mental health, generational poverty) that have landed them and so many others behind bars. Their honesty and humanity, and the courage behind their amazing artistry are what made us want to tell this story, and its why I think it's worth a watch. Also, the soundtrack is amazing."
-Samuel Bathrick




Preview link available upon request. Contact [email protected] for more information
16 Bars
16 Bars

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