Told through the charismatic voice of inmate Kenneth Reams, FREE MEN is a film about human resilience. Sentenced to death, Kenneth Reams has served decades of imprisonment in complete isolation. Love and art have freed him from his chains and he found a purpose in life when all signs of hope seemed lost.
“Just because you’re behind bars doesn’t mean that you can’t have dreams and goals and accomplish them.” – Kenneth Reams
Directed by Anne-Frederique Widmann and produced by Intermezzo Films with RTS Television and Globe Cartoon, FREE MEN celebrated its World Premiere at FIFDH Film festival and international forum on human rights (FIFDH), Geneva in 2018. Selected in many film festivals around the globe, it won the Special Award for documentary at the Alger International Film Festival (FICA) 2018 and a jury award at the FIFDH 2018.
In solitary confinement for the last 25 years, Kenneth has pushed back the walls of his cell to become a painter, a poet, the founder of a non-profit, and an art event organizer – while fighting at the same time for justice. At age 18, Kenneth Reams was convicted for capital murder for a shooting he did not commit. He became the youngest inmate on Arkansas death row.
Alongside art, FREE MEN shows how love can cross barbed wire and the length of an ocean in Kenneth’s love for Isabelle, a French artist he wants to marry.
While Arkansas rushes to execute eight inmates in ten days – an absolute American record – the film captures Kenneth’s struggle, with unprecedented access to his daily battle, and raises universal questions – How can we fight injustice? How can we continue to move forward and find a sense of purpose in life? FREE MEN is a film for all those who have thought, one day, of giving up.
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