Austin Chronicle

MARCH 16, 2007: SCREENS
SXSW Film
Daily reviews and interviews

BY DIANA WELCH

Hard Road Home

D: Macky Alston

If only our broken parole system would take a couple of pointers from this movie, shot over eight months in East Harlem. Alston follows 21-year-old Griffik, out of jail just a week, to the offices of Exodus Transitional Community, where his case manager secures him job interviews and follows up with his employer if he manages to get one. Staffed entirely with ex-cons, ETC’s mission is to reduce recidivism by educating and supporting people who are going through what they went through: the struggle to stay on the right track, whether it’s drug addiction or the pressures of poverty that they are up against. Julio Medina, the founder and director of ETC, himself spent 12 years in prison for dealing, during which time he received his masters of divinity at New York Theological Seminary. Throughout the course of the film, even the most promising characters slip and fall, yet Medina still responds to them with a familial love that gives his short hospitalization for an “enlarged heart” a greater meaning.

Austin Chronicle



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