If you haven’t seen this compelling documentary about Oklahoma’s female inmates partaking in a break from prison life for a chance to compete in the state’s Penitentiary Rodeo, or if you have seen it but want to see it again or share it with a friend, save “Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo” on your Netflix queue and bring it that much closer to convenient viewing.
From the filmmakers that brought you ‘Okie Noodling,’ ‘Fearlesss Freaks,’ ‘Summercamp!’ and “The Creek Runs Red’ comes another heart-gripping journey into Americana life—the subculture of the Oklahoma penitentiary system and the modern-day Wild West: ‘Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo.’
‘Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo’ goes behind prison walls to follow convict cowgirls on their journey to the 2007 Oklahoma State Penitentiary Rodeo. In 2006, female inmates were allowed to participate for the first time. In a state with the highest female incarceration rate in the country, these women share common experiences such as broken homes, drug abuse and alienation from their children. Since 1940, the Oklahoma State Penitentiary has held an annual ‘Prison Rodeo’. Part Wild West show and part coliseum-esque spectacle, it’s one of the last of its kind – a relic of the American penal system. Prisoners compete on wild-broncs and bucking bulls, risking life-long injuries. For inmates like Danny Liles, a 14-year veteran of the rodeo, the chance to battle livestock offers a brief respite from prison life. Within this strange arena the prisoners become the heroes while the public and guards applaud.
“Freedom, family, forgiveness—these are human needs. Without ever loudly announcing its statement of purpose, while focusing on bulls and broncos and adrenaline, “Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo” makes a plea for human dignity and compassion.” –Filmmaker Magazine
“SWEETHEARTS OF THE PRISON RODEO, (is) a gorgeous, insightful, hilarious, emotional look at tradition, criminal justice, hope and regret. It’s as pure a piece of movie-making that you will see in nonfiction in 2009, commercial as hell, and certainly one of the best films of the year.” – A.J. Schnack, All These Wonderful Things
For more information on the film or to buy it directly, visit the film’s website at: www.sweetheartsoftheprisonrodeo.com
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