Friday, September 26, 2014

LOST FOR LIFE: DOCUMENTARIAN JOSHUA ROFÉ ON JUVENILE LIFERS




For my arts and culture column, this week I got to talk to local documentarian Josh Rofé about Lost for Life, the 2013 film he directed and produced about juveniles who are sentenced to life without parole.

Here's how the piece begins:

"Jacob Ind underwent horrific sexual and emotional abuse at the hands of his mother and stepfather. At the age of 15, he murdered them both.

Brian Draper and Torey Adamcik were small-town Idaho teens. In 2006 they donned masks, drove to the residence where classmate Cassie Jo Stoddart was housesitting, and brutally stabbed her to death.

These are just three of the more than 2,500 prisoners who have been sentenced as juveniles, some as young as 13, and are serving life without parole in American prisons.

They are also three of the men profiled by local documentarian Joshua Rofé in his riveting 2013 documentary “Lost for Life.”

“Could You Forgive?” reads the tagline for the film and to his credit, producer and director Rofé leaves us to decide. He shows the minds, hearts and, in some cases, the transformation of the prisoners"...

READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.


BRIAN DRAPER, 16 AT THE TIME OF HIS ARREST FOR MURDER,
WAS 21 AT THE TIME HE APPEARED IN LOST FOR LIFE

1 comment:

  1. When I think of how people are, I try to think of their childhood and how their actions were and are formed by that upbringing, whatever it was. Of course everyone has free will, but our consciences are formed better or worse related to our upbringing. Then, how we use our free will further forms our conscience for better or worse. I can't help but think that Jacob Ind's culpability for his actions was very low. A child of divorce, which is a terrible trauma, is then sexually abused after the divorce by his mom and stepfather, which is sick beyond my ability to understand! And in saying that, I try to not judge his parents -I don't know what they went through in life, only that they were at least very sick.
    And then Brian Draper, did his parents really love him? Was anything meaningful given to him when he was young? Was he fed meaningless TV and video games that formed a person who couldn't really touch reality? Clearly, Brian has made a turnaround, notwithstanding the cynics who say anyone in prison will act so in the hope of getting out one day. To hell with that, real people seek real freedom, which is fundamentally interior. And real people live in prisons!
    And then society must protect itself which is why prisons exist. And how can such a system, so impersonal as our penal system, know who is safe, know who is reformed? Know when someone has paid their just debt to society? In Colorado where I live, the state has found that there is good money to be made from the federal government for putting up federal prisons. How can such systems look at those they care for as people?
    In all these terrible questions, I am consoled to know that there are very holy people very close to our Lord, who have done terrible, wicked things, and come out knowing they have hearts and they have wounded and killed hearts and then, by a miracle of love, came to understand that they were capable of both loving and being loved. Their lives give me courage to overcome the small difficulties of my life, which God deigned, due to my extreme weakness, to not make very difficult.

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