"16 Bars" Documentary: In Theaters November 8 NYC | November 15 LA | Expanding - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Monday, October 7, 2019

"16 Bars" Documentary: In Theaters November 8 NYC | November 15 LA | Expanding

"These men are behind bars...but their voices have to be heard." - Speech 

Conscious  Hip Hop Artists Speech Spent 10 Days in Jail 
"16 Bars" Documentary
Todd “Speech” Thomas built his storied career tackling complex issues.
Now comes 16 Bars.
 16 BARS
In Theaters November 8 NYC | November 15 LA | Expanding

In a makeshift recording studio located in the Richmond City Jail, four very different imprisoned men collaborate with Grammy-winning recording artist Todd “Speech” Thomas on an album recording that reaches into their painful pasts to find ways to open new doors in their futures.

16 BARS offers a rare glimpse at the human stories and songs locked away in our nation’s jails and prisons. The documentary follows a unique rehabilitation effort in a Virginia jail that encourages inmates to write and record original music. In the jail’s makeshift recording studio, four men collaborate to produce an album with Grammy-winner Todd “Speech” Thomas of Arrested Development. As the creative process unfolds, these incarcerated artists must confront the traumas of their past, and the music becomes the key to unlocking a new chapter in their lives.
Two-time Grammy-winner Speech Thomas is widely considered one of the godfathers of conscious hip-hop. His band Arrested Development’s 1993 debut album “3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life of...”  went quadruple platinum and achieved what few thought was possible at the time, establishing an Afrocentric alternative to gangster rap that was commercially viable. 25 years later, Speech continues to tour the world with his band and seek out opportunities to use music to address issues of social and racial justice.
In 2017, he set out on a journey to the Richmond City Jail, where he conducted music workshops with inmates. His goal was to shed light on the complex issues in our criminal justice system by bringing the voices and stories of incarcerated people to a larger audience. 
Director: Samuel Bathrick
Producer: EP Joe Lamont, EP Eric Michels, Producer Adam Barton
Cinematographer: Alexander Cullen
Editor: Alistair Shurman
Featuring: “Todd” Speech Thomas
Music: Todd Speech Thomas, Tennyson Jackson, Garland Carr,
De'Vonte James, Anthony Johnston, Samuel Bathrick
Running Time: 94 minutes
Language: English

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