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Huntsville Station

Description

Every weekday, inmates are released from Huntsville State Penitentiary in Texas, taking in their first moments of freedom with phone calls, cigarettes, and quiet reflection at the Greyhound station up the block.

This is routine for the men who work in Huntsville Station. Every day they stock their shop, work the tills and clean up discarded items - among them the odd Bible whose corners are grey and bent - left on the metal benches by the road outside. They are the orderlies facilitating the first day of a new life for men who will arrive wearing clean shirts over bright white vests and carrying netted bags with their few possessions: shoes, shampoo, a bottle of baby powder.

When men are released from Hunstville penitentiary they are given a ticket for the Greyhound bus that leaves from this station and $100 to make their way. You can spend the first dollar of your hundred on five squirts of aftershave to smell sweet for the person who missed you. You can purchase a lottery ticket, if you’re feeling lucky. You can try a pair of jeans against your waist, a waist that may have grown or shrunk over the years you spent inside. You have time, after all the bus isn’t for another three hours - as one man says, he has the patience to sit and wait. He’s had the patience for six years. 

Oriana Franceschi

Directors' filmography:
Chris Filippone: How to Breathe in Kern County (2019), A View from the Window (2018), Scrap (2017)
Jamie Meltzer: True Conviction (2017), La Caminata (2009), Welcome to Nollywood (2007), Off the Charts: The Song-Poem Story (2003)

Details

  • Director Chris Filippone, Jamie Meltzer
  • Country United States
  • Year 2020
  • Duration 14 min
  • UK Premiere

Programmes

Bill Douglas Award 5: Connection Signals

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