HALF A SQUARE METER OF FREEDOM
(61 min) France/Germany
[watch trailer]

Director: Inga Lavolé-Khavkina

Description:

What could drive men and women, locked up behind bars for many years, to paint the portrait of their twin brother or a field of flowers? Some of these artworks can be quite disturbing as they reflect deeply what imprisonment does to a human being. A German art critic is astounded by the level of details in one painting and notices a little symbol of hope in one corner. Why are these prisoners painting? Is it a therapy, a way to escape, a leisurely pastime? This art delves into the profound recesses of the imagination and the soul, and, when exhibited, creates a bridge between prisoners and society. The viewers go through a surprising experience as the inmates recount how they went through their own healing catharsis, while laying their stories on the canvas. These men, along with other up-and-coming artists in the film, confide to us their deepest secrets and yearnings. Approaching this controversial subject with great humanity, Half a Square Meter of Freedom entices us to take a new look at prisoners and prepares us to welcome them back into society upon their release. “Art is the shortest path from man to man,” as the French writer André Malraux states.

Biography:

Inga Lavolé-Khavkina studied fine arts and medicine and completed her film studies at NYU, where she discovered the power of documentary filmmaking. Her first documentary film One for Yes, Twice for No tells the story of the exceptional devotion of a group of friends and dissidents from Moscow, expelled to the US, towards their old comrade suddenly afflicted with terminal Lou Gehrig disease. The film won the Award for Social Significance at the New York University Film Festival. She also worked for the Shoah Foundation, established by Steven Spielberg, where she conducted a myriad of video interviews of Holocaust survivors. Inga was also one of the founding partners of New Post House Inc. Her credits include : Poco o Poco on the work of painter, Dena Schutzer, with culturally disadvantaged school children from Yonkers; Politics of Art, Politics of Cities about the eminent Professor of Architecture, Krzysztof Wodiczko from the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT; All the Vertovs about the careers of internationally famous film innovators, the Kaufman brothers – Boris, Mikhail and Dennis; and The Making of Solaris which tells the story of the making of Andrey Tarkovski’s masterpiece, Solaris.  Inga is one of the founding members of Poirier Films, a French production company.

Contact information:

w: http://www.poirierfilms.com
e: bruno.lavole@poirierfilms.com

 



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