Boys on the Inside is a feature documentary that follows three formerly incarcerated Latinx ‘boys’ and a white queer femme documentary filmmaker over a decade of triumph, tragedy and new chapters of life that bring everyone’s stories together in ways no one could ever have anticipated.
Through Sebastian, Sarah and Christina, stories of the realities of being masculine in women’s prisons are layered on top of stories of love and trauma and family and struggle, with early experiences of addiction that quickly digresses in most cases to increased regularity of incarceration. Over a decade into the making Boys on the Inside, I find myself as the director, becoming a social actor in this story about identity, class and race, incarceration, abuse, addiction and family. As I integrate the story of losing my younger sister to suicide and meth addiction, the film beings to ask questions of me… who survives/why, and what impulse to compartmentalize and separate subject and artist serve?
Through cinema verite, interviews and video essay narration, Boys on the Inside offers vulnerability and questions in place of answers in the larger discourse of prisons in our culture and society, expressed through poetic, breathing and intimate portraiture that humanizes a story that centers the fringe.