#rabbleReels: The Houdini Of Florida.

In Culture, Politicsby Rashers Tierney1 Comment



Here’s a fascinating documentary that gets right into the unsettling world of solitary confinement in the good ol US of A. Mark DeFriest Spent a decade without going outside. Ten years of not seeing the sun. For what?

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now describes what landed him in the hole:

“AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to the shocking case of Mark DeFriest. In 1979, his father died and left him a set of tools. Not realizing how wills worked, Mark picked his tools up before they were probated. He was arrested for stealing. At the age of 19, Mark was sentenced to four years in prison in Florida. It’s now 34 years later, and Mark is still locked up. He’s spent 27 of those years in solitary confinement, even though he has never committed a violent act.”

“His story is told in a shocking new film called The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest. The film looks at how Mark ended up in jail and how he became known as the Houdini of Florida prisons because he’s tried to escape 13 times—seven of them successfully. About a month into his sentence, he tried his first escape. This is a clip of Mark DeFriest describing that attempt.”

She has an interview  with Gabriel London, director of the new film about the case on her latest show. The image of the Clown in a Straitjacket is a self-portrait by Mark. I’ve a feeling this one will be a tear jerker.

Watch the whole interview.


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