A Hard Straight

Walking out of the prison gates is just the beginning
Year Released
Film Length(s)
74 mins


A Hard Straight is a documentary about doing time on the outside.


A gang member, a mother, and a small-time dealer. They served their sentences, they're on parole. Now they're about to discover that walking out the prison gates is just the beginning. A Hard Straight is a documentary about doing time on the outside. A Hard Straight tells the story of what it is really like for a person to make the radical transition from prison life to society. The film interweaves the stories of two men and one woman as they begin to construct new lives on the outside. We see them from the ecstatic moment of their first taste of freedom, to the inevitable frustrations, joys, and banality of life outside of prison. And finally, we see the people in either a successfully established life on the outside or a return to prison. For the 500,000 men and women each year who are released from prison, there are many unknowns: What will you have to do to survive after walking out with $200 gate money? How does an extended stay in a world defined by violence and subjugation affect your ability to live your own life? And what sort of resources, both within the community and yourself, will you need to have to make it on the outside? A Hard Straight is an powerful, intimate, and enlightenting film that sheds light on the profound experience of doing time and trying to go straight.

Promotional Material

Promotional Stills

Opens in new window