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Critical Acclaim for ‘Herman’s House’ – Available for Streaming Through August 7

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Read what critics and journalists have to say about the POV film that will be streaming for free online until August 7, 2013.

Herman Wallace may be the longest-serving prisoner in solitary confinement in the United States—he’s spent more than 40 years in a 6-by-9-foot cell in Louisiana. Imprisoned in 1967 for a robbery he admits, he was subsequently sentenced to life for a killing he vehemently denies. Herman’s House is a moving account of the remarkable expression his struggle found in an unusual project proposed by artist Jackie Sumell. Imagining Wallace’s “dream home” began as a game and became an interrogation of justice and punishment in America. The film takes us inside the duo’s unlikely 12-year friendship, revealing the transformative power of art.

“A powerful political subtext. . . . [A] conceptual art piece about confinement, attached to a dual biography of the artist and the prisoner. [Herman] Wallace . . . grounds this eccentric, often poignant film in an attitude of common sense and stoicism.”
Stephen Holden, The New York Times

“A portrait of an invisible man, Herman’s House is a raised voice in the constitutional debate over solitary confinement, as well as a film about art. . . . equal parts social protest, conceptual cinema and criminal-justice critique.”
John Anderson, Variety

“Against the prospect of unhappy endings, the human spirit still strives.”
Zachary Wigon, The Village Voice

“[Herman Wallace] emerges as a vivid and remarkably sanguine character.”
Marc Jenkins, NPR

“Director Angad Singh Bhalla crafts a work of considerable scope, nuance and complexity.”
— Jason Michelitch, Cineaste

“Filmmaker Angad Singh Bhalla’s biggest challenge was that one of his two main characters couldn’t appear on camera. As it turned out, that condition was also a storytelling opportunity.”
Dave Walker, The Times-Picayune

“[A] cinematic gem. . . . Hugely moving.”
Geoff Pevere, The Globe and Mail

“Follows an unlikely and enduring friendship.”
Callie Crossley, “The Takeaway,” Public Radio International

Visit the Herman’s House companion site to join the conversation about the film, get an update on the subjects, learn facts and analysis about solitary confinement in America, watch prison architects explain their craft and challenges, read experts’ take on the film, interact with the house that Herman built and his prison cell.

For updates on the 2013 season of POV, subscribe to POV’s documentary blog, like POV on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @povdocs.

POV Staff
POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 300 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.