Lynn Novick, Dave Davies Novak, Peabody Award discussed on Fresh Air


With encouraging results students accepted to the program take classes in prison taught by Bard College faculty using the same materials and meeting the same standards as students on the college's main campus our guests today are Lynn Novick who directed the documentary and to graduates of the program Sebastian noon and I won T. trail they spoke with fresh ears Dave Davies Novak is a Peabody Award winning filmmaker and long time collaborator of Ken burns she spent four years in prisons taping material for the documentary which is her solo directorial debut Yun and Pedro both entered prison as teenagers and both earned bachelor's degrees in the bard prison initiative the documentary college behind bars airs tonight and tomorrow night on PBS stations and will also be available for streaming Lynn Novick Sebastian noon and die one tape for welcome to fresh air great to have all of you let's start with a clip from the documentary this is a scene where there's a group of brand new students at the eastern correctional facility which is a maximum security facility in New York just been admitted to the program after a competitive admissions process and what we see is a not terribly large classroom in a group of fifteen to twenty men in blue jumpsuit seated a typical classroom desks and Max Kenner who is the founder and executive director of the program is welcoming the new students let's listen welcome to bar college congratulations we're gonna start course work Monday morning and I think we should just start being really clear about the scale of the commitment first of all that we're making to you and secondly that we expect of you this is a full time and the long term and total commitment when that door closes your bar college faculty are going to be evaluating what you do as a student exclusively that is to say the college has no interest in the nature of your criminal conviction the length of your sentence how much time you have left in prison not our business where in the business of education this is the thing we know how to do and we happen to do it here and when you leave this room tonight there is now something that can be taken away from you that's completely different than when you walked in and that's from the documentary college behind bars directed by our guest Lynn Novick also with us or die one take throat and Sebastian noon graduates of the program.

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