“The cells are very small, maybe four or five steps the length of a cell and about three steps the width.” In America 3 men were locked in solitary confinement because of a murder they did not commit for over a century between them. ‘Cruel and Unusual’ is their extraordinary story. The documentary tells the story of the Angola 3, three men – Robert King, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox – who as members of the Black Panthers have been fighting for justice since the early 1970s.
“These men, if they did not do this, I believe that they didn’t they have been living a nightmare for 36 years.” said the murder victim’s widow in the trailer. For decades left forgotten in the depths of America’s bloodiest prison, between them the Angola 3 spent over a Century in solitary.
“I don’t know of anyplace in the world where people are held in solitary confinement for over 3 decades.” Their struggle became an international scandal. Directed and written by Vadim Jean ‘Cruel and Unusual’ profiles the trio of prisoners who were convicted of the murder of a prison guard based on minimal evidence.
One of the three, Albert Woodfox spent 43 years in solitary before he was released on a plea bargain in 2016. ‘Cruel and Unusual’ is an update to Jean’s 2014 documentary, “In the Land of the Free” now that the tale has been resolved.
Woodfox and Herman Wallace (who died in 2013) organized a chapter of the Black Panther Party inside the prison with King, and litigated for their civil rights and the rights of all incarcerated prisoners. Targeted as members of the Black Panther party the film follows their struggle against the miscarriage of justice and their cruel and unusual treatment.
Source: YouTube, IMDb