Attica: The Bars That Bind Us

Everyone exposed long-term to max incarceration at Attica pays a high price. Find out why and how you can help change a broken system.
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Teresa Miller
Film
Buffalo, New York
United States
3 Team Members

Attica: The Bars That Bind Us is fiscally sponsored by New York Women in Film and Television and donations are tax-deductible.

Attica: The Bars That Bind Us takes a unique look at the human costs of working and living in a large men's maximum security prison. Director Teresa Miller, a law professor at The State University of New York at Buffalo, has spent the past 17 years studying, writing, teaching about and working within New York state prisons. With the help of local filmmakers and students, she has collected unprecedented interviews and rare footage that tell the compelling stories of inmates and their family members, correctional officers, the warden, and the contemporary conditions at Attica prison in rural upstate New York.

Teri and crew members inside Attica, escorted by officer Jack Kerr. Teri and crew members inside Attica, escorted by officer Jack Kerr.

Attica came under intense public scrutiny in 1971 when prisoners took over the prison in protest of deplorable conditions. While much has changed in the forty years hence, Attica today remains inextricably linked to the uprising, overshadowed by its lingering tensions and their consequences. With over 60 hours of footage cataloging the experience of living and working within the prison, Attica: The Bars That Bind Us penetrates the eighteen-inch-thick, thirty-foot-tall walls of Attica State Prison, and promises a sober, uncompromising look into the detrimental impact of the prison upon its long-term inhabitants.

Thomas Gant shares a quiet moment with two of his children minutes before his "trailer" visit ends.Thomas Gant shares a quiet moment with two of his children minutes before his trailer visit ends.

In this “city within a city,” referred to by one inmate as a “warehouse of broken men,” substantial pressure is exerted on all who live or work at Attica to adopt a tough exterior to protect them from threats real and imagined. But years of such effort comes at a cost. Ultimately, the film explores the aspects of humanity you must deny, or boldly buck the system to maintain, in order to survive Attica. 

Inmates on "A Block" lining up for the "chow run" to the mess hall.Inmates on A Block line up for the chow run to the mess hall.

Rather than construct inmates and guards as heroes, victims or villains, this film demonstrates that the real villain is an expansive criminal justice system that incarcerates en masse in the absence of meaningful solutions to untreated drug addiction, economic crisis, and racism.

In conjunction with the Correctional Association of New York, the oldest prison reform organization in New York State, we are working to reach the largest audience possible through a multi-media project with significant public outreach. Outreach projects include an educational website with interviews and short scenes drawn from the feature-film footage, as well as information about the filmmakers and the history of Attica State Prison.

Building upon years of volunteer efforts by a diverse group of filmmakers, a successful Indiegogo campaign will ensure that we can finish this project and make these exceptional stories available to a wide audience who, in turn, can use them in their own educational initiatives and advocacy. We still need to shoot the last few interviews, edit the film and accompanying shorts, build the website and complete many other large and small steps to post-production and distribution. That's where you come in: with your help we can make this dream a reality.

Your donations are tax deductible through our fiscal sponsor, New York Women in Film and Television. We welcome donations in any amount. We would also really appreciate it if you helped us spread the word about this important project.


 

 

 

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$5,121USD
raised by 54 people in 3 months
7% funded
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$75,000 USD goal
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This campaign ended on November 26, 2012
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    We'll give you a SHOUT-OUT on Facebook and send you ATBTBU project updates.

    3 claimed
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  • $20USD
    FILM LOGO BUTTON

    Demonstrate your support by wearing our unique LOGO BUTTON and also receive a super-sharp digital download of the ATBTBU screensaver, project updates and a Facebook shout-out.

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  • $35USD
    DVD or DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

    We'll send you a digital DOWNLOAD or a DVD of the FEATURE FILM, project updates and a Facebook shout-out.

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  • $50USD
    ORIGINAL ARTWORK MOVIE POSTER

    We'll send you one of our original, artist-designed ATBTBU posters. You'll also receive a digital download or dvd of the feature film, project updates and a Facebook shout-out.

    6 claimed
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  • $100USD
    PATRON PACKAGE

    You'll be listed as a PATRON in the film credits and you will receive our PATRON KIT: an ATBTBU film poster, an original, handwritten thank you postcard, a digital download of the feature film DVD, our unique logo button, project updates and a Facebook shout-out.

    9 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $150USD
    EDUCATOR'S PACKAGE

    You will have the tools you need to teach students about max incarceration: a LESSON PLAN tailored to a high school/college audience (including main themes, discussion questions, bibliography), and a DVD or digital download of the feature film.

    3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $250USD
    CO-PRODUCER PACKAGE

    We'll send you a set of TWO signed, limited-edition, four-color, glossy 8x10 PRODUCTION STILLS. You'll be listed as a Co-Producer in the film credits and you will receive our CO-PRODUCER KIT: an ATBTBU film poster, an original, handwritten thank you postcard, a digital download of the feature film DVD, our unique logo button a super-sharp digital download of the ATBTBU screensaver, project updates and a Facebook shout-out.

    2 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $500USD
    FILM PREMIERE PACKAGE

    We'll give you TWO ORCHESTRA SECTION SEATS to the PREMIERE SCREENING of Attica: The Bars That Bind Us and the POST-SCREENING RECEPTION. You'll be listed as a Co-Producer in the film credits and you will receive our CO-PRODUCER KIT: an ATBTBU film poster, an original, handwritten thank you postcard, a digital download of the feature film DVD, our unique logo button a super-sharp digital download of the ATBTBU screensaver, project updates, and a Facebook shout-out.

    2 out of 20 claimed
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  • $1,000USD
    DIRECTOR'S CHAIR

    Take part in a half hour Skype conversation with director Teri Miller on documentary filmmaking, Attica or prison reform. You'll be listed as a Co-Producer in the film credits and you will receive our CO-PRODUCER KIT: an ATBTBU film poster, an original, handwritten thank you postcard, a digital download of the feature film DVD, our unique logo button a super-sharp digital download of the ATBTBU screensaver, project updates & a Facebook shout-out.

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