I didn’t get to hear this man’s story first hand, but I did start to pick up on what was going on. When I got there, it was ‘free time’ for the guys in the first cell. Free time meant they were allowed to wander the small hallway that you see in the video, some used that time to walk around or talk to the guys from the other cells. After agreeing to be filmed, he used the rest of his free time to try to call someone. He kept dialing and not getting anyone to pick up. I’m not sure if it was the same number or a different number, but you could tell by his expression that he wanted to talk to someone but wasn’t having any success and it was getting to him.
He was so lost in his situation, it’s as if I wasn’t even there filming him. He wasn’t worried at all about what was going on around him. He just wanted someone to pick up.
But one thing that I noticed, that unfortunately didn’t make the final cut, was the tattoo on his fingers:
I think when the majority of America thinks of convicts, they don’t think of “love” being tattooed on someone’s fingers.
This fell into the theme that I was looking for when I was filming, which is to hopefully humanize the marginalized people of America.
From the little that I did talk to him, he had a kindness in his eyes and was very welcoming.