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I am a mommy, scribe, and middle-school English teacher. I am trying to cope with being separated from my beloved. DoUWantMore? email me: theprisonerswife@gmail.com

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On The Outs

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 10:23 PM
On the Outs

There is nothing more powerful than a good story

Saturday night while browsing through Fader Magazine at Barnes & Noble, I saw an ad for the indie film called "On the Outs." I read the reviews, noticed one of the actresses from "Raising Victor Vargas," and filed it away in the back of my mind. I knew I was making a trip to Hollywood Video that night to pick up a DVD for my mom, so I thought I would pick something up for myself.

Since beloved's been incarcerated I have pretty much stopped watching DVDs. It was one of the things we loved doing together. We would hit up the DVD store on 14th & 6th Ave and buy a few flix, order take out, pop some popcorn & enjoy hours of movies. Since he's been gone I haven't been able to watch many DVDs. I don't think this has been a conscious choice, but I have rarely been in the mood. But last night, there was something about the ad that made me want to watch this film.

Based on the stories of young women in juvenile detention centers, "On the Outs" is a gripping tale of three young women from Jersey City dealing with the hard knocks life has thrown their way. There is Suzzette, the "good girl" who gets caught up with a fast-talking, drug dealing boyfriend, Oz, the seemingly hardened gangster girl who deals drugs, despite the toll they have taken on her mother, And Marisol, the single mom whose drug addiction threatens her involvement in her daughter's life. On the surface, each story seems like just another story about girls pissing their life away. But the beauty and the power of this film happens when you realize just how normal and human each one of these girls are.

Perhaps it was the adept storytelling or the weight of beloved's and my situation, but I found myself sobbing, uncontrollably about halfway through this film. Despite their behavior, their bad decisions, and their crimes, each girl had a story that was is palpable, so real, that you can't help but feel for them and even imagine yourself in their shoes.

In the tradition of indie films like Girl's Town and Our Song, On the Outs perfectly illustrates how easy it is for anyone to get caught up in the downward spiral of bad decisions. Today, young women are the fastest growing segment of the prison population. Many of these girls get locked up before they even reach the age of 13. Because of these alarming trends, this film is so important. With realistic storytelling and poignant acting, this film can change the way we see our sisters, daughters, and mothers. Now, instead of writing them off for bad choices we may be able to understand why those choices were made. Understanding is the first step in finding common ground and saving our girls and boys from making damaging choices. I encourage everyone to see this powerful film.

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6 Response to 'On The Outs'

  1. Stephen Bess Said,
    http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2006/06/on-outs.html?showComment=1150728180000#c115072819709017521'> Monday, June 19, 2006 7:43:00 AM

    Sounds really interesting. This reminds me of my friday night at a film festival in Silver Spring. Three or four young black girls were arrested for fighting in the streets. This was happening while we were vewing footage of the Soweto Riots in 1976. They had the screen set up outside so we were also caught up in chaos that was taking place behind us. It made me sad.


  2. http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2006/06/on-outs.html?showComment=1150734420000#c115073445463058195'> Monday, June 19, 2006 9:27:00 AM

    wow, that sucks.

    i was watching this documentary on Max. Security Prisons & they just kept saying how so much drama that went on in prison is due to a lack of respect. people don't respect the order of things (that the inmates set up). makes you think. it seems like we have all these issues w/ our kids today because there is no respect. respect for self & respect for your neighbor.

    i wonder if i would be able to show a film like this to my 7th graders. maybe not due to language, but it's not anything different than they'd see/hear around their block.

    btw: bless...you are always doing something hella cultured! *lol* i see you.


  3. Stephen Bess Said,
    http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2006/06/on-outs.html?showComment=1150740600000#c115074065006155186'> Monday, June 19, 2006 11:10:00 AM

    :)Like you I strive to educate the readers. I learn so much in the process as well. I like "bless." *smile* It signifies where I want to be.

    I agree that 7th graders have heard worse, but we know how pretentious and sanctimonius the school system can be. Well, talented and thinking teachers like you will always find a way to get the information to the student one way or the other. :)


  4. Hummingbyrd Said,
    http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2006/06/on-outs.html?showComment=1150824480000#c115082453898445262'> Tuesday, June 20, 2006 10:28:00 AM

    I have been meaning to net flix this.

    I saw this other weird move last week in the vein of Rushmore.

    Oh. And BL took me to see the Heart of the Game about a teenage all-state ball player that had to fight to get on and stay on the team.


  5. http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2006/06/on-outs.html?showComment=1150825980000#c115082598383276568'> Tuesday, June 20, 2006 10:53:00 AM

    hmm, never heard of "Heart of the Game"...of course i googles it (as my granny says).

    seems cool. like the female Hoop Dreams?

    i might have to check it out. thanks.


  6. Honey-Libra Said,
    http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2006/06/on-outs.html?showComment=1151002140000#c115100216736502253'> Thursday, June 22, 2006 11:49:00 AM

    I'm gonna have to check that one out, it sounds very good.