The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2014: Documentary, program two | Chicago Reader
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2014: Documentary, program two

Ra Paulette, the subject of Jeffrey Karoff's Cavedigger, is a self-taught sculptor who carves sprawling, interactive artworks into the sandstone cliffs of northern New Mexico. Karoff inspires wonder at the sculptor's demanding (and often dangerous) creative process; he also balances the awesome sequences of Paulette at work with a wry human comedy involving his wife, his former lovers, and the eccentrics who employ him. Edgar Barens's Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall is another impressive balancing act, poised between an intimate portrait of an incarcerated World War II veteran and an overview of the prison's hospice system for the terminally ill. It's strong stuff—unflinching, thorough, plainspoken, and humane.

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