Jeffrey Wright delivers a powerful performance as a maximum-security prison inmate named Louis, who, 24 years after committing a violent crime as a young man, finds himself on the cusp of release from prison, facing an uncertain future on the outside. He encounters Beech (Theothus Carter), a newly incarcerated young man who offers him much needed-friendship, though it’s not without unfortunate complications. The younger inmate echoes of his older counterpart, stirring instincts within Louis that had long been buried beneath a tough exterior. Sackler’s film is a taut prison drama that follows the seemingly mundane countdown of days before Louis’s release, until, almost imperceptibly, it transforms into a thriller, suddenly crackling with intensity. Filmed on location in an actual maximum-security prison with inmates participating as actors, the film lays bare, with remarkable realism, the very specific complexities of existing as an incarcerated man in America. Sackler’s background as an esteemed documentarian influences her first fiction film, a portrait of a proud yet regretful soul at a crossroads.
George Clooney and his business partner Grant Heslov have made history as the first producers to shoot a movie in a working maximum security prison – with inmates.
The filmmaking duo have wrapped filming on director Madeleine Sackler’s new movie O.G., which was shot at the Pendleton Correctional Facility in Indiana – the only prison that gangster John Dillinger didn’t escape from, according to Deadline.
Shooting took place around the 1,700 inmates.
Ambitious Sackler also filmed a documentary, It’s A Hard Truth, Ain’t It, at the prison.
“Madeleine has crafted a beautiful and thought-provoking film, providing a window into the world of incarceration and the effect it has on countless Americans and their families,” Heslov tells Deadline.
Jeffrey Wright stars in O.G. as a convict close to the end of his sentence, who must choose whether or not to put his freedom at risk to help a young inmate involved in gang activities.
Theothus Carter, who is serving a 65-year sentence at Pendleton, co-stars and more than 120 inmates were cast as background actors in the movie.
While researching the film, director Sackler led a moviemaking masterclass at the prison. She and the inmates she taught collaborated on It’s A Hard Truth, Ain’t It.
“It was a collaborative filmmaking dream… that enabled us to make two completely different films that share some of the real-world experiences of being in prison today with people living outside the prison’s walls,” she says.