Criminal offenders with lives marked by generations of violence, addiction, and poor social conditions attend the Peace Class in a Texas prison where they struggle to discover their humanity, improve their outlook on life and rebuild their lives from the inside out. Four years in the making, Inside Peace is a feature documentary that focuses on several compelling characters who were incarcerated at Dominguez State Jail in San Antonio, Texas. There, they embarked on a journey of change by enrolling in the Peace Class, one of the few self-improvement programs offered in prisons across the country that are not faith-based, but instead concentrates on the individual’s inner strength and self-worth.
Inside Peace provides a window into the hearts and minds of men doing hard time who choose to break the cycle of negativity. With a supporting cast of fellow inmates, prison officials, experts and family members, the film takes the viewer down these men’s difficult roads as they reintegrate with life on the outside relying on the personal peace, self-worth and dignity discovered at the Peace Class. If they can change the only belief system they’ve ever known and are successful in understanding their value as human beings, they just may have a chance of living better lives by making better choices. The path becomes most treacherous when released from jail and as they try to negotiate a world filled with conflict, rejection and hostility. Faced with these familiar roadblocks at every turn, they must avoid the temptation to return to their old ways—those that led to failure and imprisonment in the first place.
“These stories bleed through Inside Peace, and they are crucial to it, but they’re only part of what the film is about. The men manage to take the message to heart that they have value as people – no simple lesson, especially when it comes so late in life. This is where, for the viewer, the awe comes in. You mean inner peace is … always possible?” – Robert Koehler
This is a collaboration between Film Club and Inner Transition, 7.30-10pm at the Royal Seven Stars Hotel ballroom. Entry £4 (concessions: £3 low income / £2 youth under 25yrs)