After decades behind bars, three men set out to prove success can lie on the other side of tragedy.
“A really powerful film... [Life After Life} presents such a clear message about the power of the human spirit.”
John Raphling, Human Rights Watch
Life After Life Synopsis
Life After Life follows the stories of Harrison, Noel, and Chris as they return home from San Quentin State Prison. After spending most of their lives incarcerated, they are forced to reconcile their perception of themselves with a reality they are unprepared for.
Each struggles to overcome personal demons and reconstruct their fractured lives. Grappling with day-to-day challenges and striving for success, they work to reconnect with family and provide for themselves for the first time in their adult lives.
Told in an unadorned verite style, we experience the truth of their heartaches and triumphs. As their stories unfold over weeks, months and years, the precarious nature of freedom after incarceration in America is revealed.
You will see that LIFE AFTER LIFE is unlike other films on prison reforms handles its storytelling with a holistic approach to understanding the comprehensive work needed to dismantle juvenile incarceration and the school to prison pipeline. The story and engagement campaign is lead by the participants.
Producer and Director Tamara Perkins has been a leader in the social justice and juvenile justice reform movement within the Bay Area for over a decade. Her vision of creating LIFE AFTER LIFE was inspired while working inside San Quentin State Prison as a Yoga and meditation instructor in 2006. Compelled to expose the devastating impact of incarceration on urban communities and the opportunity for transformation, Tamara teamed up with Co-Producer Jesse Dana to build support, access and collaborations to create LIFE AFTER LIFE.
Setting Life After Life apart from other prison films is the extraordinary access to the incarcerated men, facilities, experts, and leaders in the system of corrections. Through her background in grief support, Tamara creates a safe environment for each subject, bringing authenticity to interviews that cover sensitive, personal stories. From her relationships and connections within the Bay Area social justice community, Tamara and the LIFE AFTER LIFE team have developed significant relationships with policy and public agencies including the ACLU of Northern California, Alameda County Public Health, Equal Justice Society, The San Francisco Foundation and PolicyLink as well as universities such as Saint Mary’s University and San Francisco State University.
LIFE AFTER LIFE has an opportunity to bring a voice to an issue deemed the “silent crisis”. With 1 in 31 American’s under the umbrella of corrections, there has never been a more pressing time to mobilize the public toward significant prison reform. LIFE AFTER LIFE fulfills this opportunity by creating a contemporary documentary that creates intimacy for the viewer with an innovative photographic vision with the highest level of production. The film presents fact-based pragmatic arguments for change with an emotionally affecting visual representation to reach the broadest possible audience.
"It was my honor to serve on a panel after the screening of the movie “Life After Life”. The story of three men trying to find their way back into a world that has left them behind while they were incarcerated highlights a large gap in the criminal justice system. The difficulties they faced – finding housing, a job that pays a living wage, re-acquainting themselves with family –present an uphill battle that is not always won. It is my hope as a former prosecutor that with more awareness through films such as [Life After Life], there will be more resources made available for re-entry projects. In the end, no one wins when our returning citizens do not succeed."
Melba V. Pearson, Deputy Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Florida
“Life After Life allows us to witness the redemptive power of love, family and community. We need to ponder the lessons of these lives to avoid the waste of recidivism and understand how we can partner with the once-incarcerated and gain their talents and acquired wisdom to contribute to more resilient and peaceful communities that benefit us all.”
Maya Soetoro-Ng, Director of the Matsunaga Institute for Peace
"Watch Life After Life. Listen to the men of color. Heed their stories. And take action -- that is, create a world without prisons."
Dr. Keith Camacho, Professor Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles