An Omar Broadway Film

2008 Documentary

An inmate in Newark, New Jersey's notorious Northern State Prison allows viewers to experience the tension of living in the prison's maximum security gang unit in this collaborative documentary from filmmaker Douglas Tirola and inmate Omar Broadway. Distinguished by its status as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States, Newark is a haven for violent crime. Back when he was a free man, Broadway spend the majority of his time hanging out on the corner of 15th and William, a part of the city that most residents would drive out of their way to avoid. In 1999 Broadway was incarcerated in the maximum-security gang unit of Northern State Prison. Here, inmates are only let out of their cells for an hour a week, as well as for the occasional shower. After secretly obtaining a video camera in 2004, Broadway and his bunkmate Buddy Randolph began documenting life on the inside. The result is a discomforting look into a deeply claustrophobic world, a place where even the most insignificant objects seems to take on the utmost importance. Somehow, despite filming from such a limited vantage point, Broadway is able to offer a detailed expose of the corruption that goes on behind these reinforced steel doors. Meanwhile, as Broadway's expose sets off an unanticipated chain of events, his collaborator Tirola offers a look at the prisoner's old neighborhood while discussing the recent developments concerning the camera to his loving and opinionated mother.~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide