Lifers: A Prison Documentary

June 5, 2015 Wisconsin Public Television Leave a Comment

This week on Director’s Cut, we welcome Mark Mederson, director of the film Lifers: A Prison DocumentaryLifers is the well-told story of prisoners serving life sentences without parole. Mederson looks at the lives of several inmates and at the crimes that landed them in prison. In some cases, he explores whether or not the crime equals the time.

The most fascinating storyline in the film is that of Steve Watt, a highway patrolman and one of the victims of a featured lifer. Steve was almost killed after being shot several times by a man in a drug induced state. After years of therapy – both physical and mental – Steve not only forgave the shooter but became best friends with him and tried to get him released from prison. This story alone would make a great film, but it is merely one of the many fascinating and layered stories that Mederson tells.

Mederson is originally from Kentucky but is in the process of getting his Ph.D. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He wants to teach and inspire other filmmakers, which I have no doubt he will be successful at. I enjoy talking to filmmakers who also teach and find they stay energized on both fronts as the two professions seem to go hand-in-hand.

Lifers is a can’t miss documentary – even in a season with and abundance of great docs on Director’s Cut! Please join me this Friday night at 9 on Wisconsin Public Television for my interview with Mark. Be sure to stick around for Lifers: A Prison Documentary on Director’s Cut Presents immediately following. Hope to see you then!

Image of host Pete Schwaba. Watch new episodes of Director's Cut online.

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