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Jaana's freedom| 49mins
Director: Paolo Costella | Producer: Ugo Adilardi
Focus Years: 2005 | Country: Italy
Subject Tags: conflict, crime, europe, finland, human rights, italy, peace
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
A supermarket like many others. A woman is doing some shopping. Her name is Jaana, she is 42 years old. She chooses with care what to buy, she pays, she puts the purchase in to the shopping bag and gets out of the supermarket. She goes in a van with four women, ready to go home—or rather to go to jail. Jaana is held in custody in an "open jail" in Vanaja, close to Hameenlinna, 100 kilometers north of Helsinki, Finland, with 40 women together with 5 men. In Finland, there are 19 open jails where 700 prisoners are serving their last years of sentence. These prisoners come from closed jails, they committed serious crimes, many are murderers, and for the first time they live in an open space, without barriers, gates, or keys. These prisoners have inconceivable privileges in a jail: they can ask and obtain permits to get out individually or in group, to go to religious meetings or shows; once a month they can go home or receive their wife or husband in jail, in an independent apartment, or in the "family house." These prisoners work, earn money, and pay for rent and meals. They only need to sign in three times per day. If they use drugs or alcohol they get sent straight to a closed jail. They move in absolute freedom inside the jail's structure. The boundaries are made of wooden bars painted red and yellow. Freedom is easy to come by and it is up to the prisoners to resist or not to resist the temptation to escape. Open jails have been in Finland for more than ten years. A very small bunch of prisoners escaped, but most of them never committed crimes again once they served their time. But this is not an inquiry into the jail’s system, it’s Jaana's story. This day started in the supermarket, and continues with her waiting for Timo's arrival, her husband of three years. Timo is also a prisoner. He committed very serious crimes. He also lives in an open jail. Jaana and Timo meet each other, they go to their apartment, they talk about their love, the present and the future they are planning together, the job, the house, and the desire to have a child. They talk about hatred, revenge, a sense of guilt, forgiveness, and those who believe that all of this is wrong, that they don't deserve so much.
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