"Control" is a documentary portrait of mass incarceration as it reverberates through our homes and communities. It is the story of a family whose life is relentlessly punctuated by an intrusive, destructive, counter-intuitive penal system.
Both of Luther’s parents spent significant time in prison when he was very young; he and his eight siblings grew up shuttling in and out of different foster homes. The second oldest, Luther helped to raise his youngest brothers and worked to keep them all healthy and in school during these tumultuous years. His parents won their fights over drug abuse and Elaine fought hard to get all of her children back under one roof and become re-engaged in her children’s lives.
When Luther was arrested, at the age of 16, and charged with two felony counts of assault and robbery, panic gripped the entire family at the thought that—even with all of the work and progress they have made together—the cycle of imprisonment was going to continue. Control follows Luther's story as he navigates a criminal justice system, charged with a crime he neither witnessed nor participated in. A family that is already stretched to its limits is asked to guide and comfort a child as a powerful and complex state authority argues to lock him up in adult facilities. Today, a steady stream of court dates and the fear of a felony conviction and ensuing imprisonment interrupt Luther’s senior year at a high school in the Bronx and his dream of joining the Marines.
Luther’s struggle to envision his future against these real possibilities form the backbone of this feature-length documentary that traces the expansion of punitive power in the United States, particularly in communities of color. Over the last 40 years, our system of incarceration has metastasized into virtually every aspect of our culture and social structure. For young black men in America's inner cities, incarceration has become the more-likely-than-not norm, not the unthinkable exception. The penal system has swallowed up 7 million Americans and its shadow is cast over millions more.
CONTROL is a production of Muralla Media Works Directed by Chris Bravo and Lindsey Schneider Music by BLACK ANT and BUYABLE