Susan McGregor’s documentary Life Behind Bars: Visiting Hours is all about when the inside meets the outside. This means: when families visit their loved ones in prison.
It is filmed at Low Moss Maximum Security Prison in Glasgow, Scotland.
When the Inside Meets the Outside
The documentary film features different things that happen when inmates get prison visits. It features “other than the usual” TV glimpses behind bars that we are used to seeing in films.
There is no cell door banging, prison fights or inmates that are so off their rockers on drugs, they do not know where they are or what they are doing.
Instead, Life Behind Bars: Visiting Hours shows how prisons affect inmate families.
Most Prisoners Won’t Take Part in Prison Visit Documentary
Producers have hard times finding prisoners to take part in such documentaries, especially when they take up prison visit time. Most prison inmates feel that their prison visits are their private time with their loved ones.
They only have limited time to visit with their loved ones. That makes it hard to share their private time when the inside meets the outside.
Also, some prison family members are embarrassed to take part in these prison documentaries as well. Maybe the families have not told people where their loved ones are. So, they do not want it going on TV news.
The Cast of Life Behind Bars: Visiting Hours
Nonetheless, Susan McGregor managed to come up with an interesting and varied cast:
Mark of “Life Behind Bars: Visiting Hours”
Mark is a 53-year-old man from Manchester. He is doing 5 years and 3 months for drug trafficking. The inmate did not understand anyone at HMP Low Moss. Subtitles are a privilege that have to be earned by getting out and watching it on TV.
Mark wants to go straight once he is released, he says in this documentary about when the inside meets the outside. He wants a job so he can spend more time with his family. However, he has little faith that this will happen.
Marks Prison Family
Prison inmate Mark has 3 daughters and a new granddaughter making him a grandpa for the 9th time. He seems to be a nice dad. His prison daughters adore him even though he’s been away for some time.
David of “Life Behind Bars: Visiting Hours”
David is 25 years old. He has been in and out of prison his entire short adult life. This time he is in prison for 17 month because of assault and breaching the terms of court order.
Drinking always lands him in these problems. David seems to have trouble facing up to his current life in prison. But, it does help to get prison visits, and that what it’s all about when the inside meets the outside.
Mike of “Life Behind Bars: Visiting Hours”
Mike is doing 14 years for attempting to murder his wife. He has a secret family in another country. The prison inmate seeks forgiveness from his father who is a retired church minister.
His father is planning to combine his visit to his son with a trip. They talk about Christianity and architecture during their prison visits. Mike says some inmates in the prison convert to Islam and Judaism simply because they get better food.
Gary of “Life Behind Bars: Visiting Hours”
Gary was convicted of murder at 19 years old. He currently does not have a release date. The inmate is engaged to his girlfriend, Charley, who visits him daily.
She wants to start planning the wedding and saving up for it. They always end up in tears when their visiting time is over.
“There are contributions from the prison staff as well. Interesting stories about when prisoners get a little bit too intimate with their visitors, and about the snack shop. There have been marriage proposals, too.
[Showing] this is just as important, because it is about how prison affects the families of the people inside as well. It is still sad, and mostly hopeless, but also very human.”
Video: Life Behind Bars Visiting Hour (2017) – Channel 4
Watch this video about when the when the inside meets the outside. It’s called Life Behind Bars: Visiting Hour (2017) and was uploaded to YouTube by Top Documentary Films:
Do you watch prison documentary films about when the inside meets the outside? If any have really touched your heart or help you cope as a prison loved one, our audience would love to know about them. Please share in the comments below.