William Francome is a fairly
typical, white middle-class guy. Typical except for the fact that he is about to
embark on a journey into the dark heart of the American judicial system; the
tangled world of renowned Death Row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.
The connection between these two
characters is a simple one, and the pretext for this film, as Will explains:
"I was born in London on
December 9th 1981. Over 3000 miles away Mumia Abu-Jamal, a Black Panther and
radical journalist, was arrested for the murder of a police officer in
Philadelphia. He claimed he was innocent but was sentenced to death and has
been awaiting execution ever since. Over the years, he has attracted massive
international support from organisations like Amnesty International and
world leaders like Nelson Mandela amongst others. I'm now 24 years old and in
that time Mumia has become the most famous and controversial death row inmate
situation, and against all odds, Mumia has managed to penetrate the
consciousness of people like Will. Through his writings and
his web and radio broadcasts from Death Row, he has become known
to many as "the Voice of the Voiceless".
Prison My Whole Life" takes us to some surprising places and brings us into
contact with some of America?s most original minds. Never-seen-before footage
and brand new evidence create a prevailing case for reasonable doubt while
exploring the socio-political climate of America ? past and present. Angela
Davis, Mos Def, Noam Chomsky, Alice Walker, Snoop Dogg, Steve Earle, Amy Goodman
and many others take us through a decades-old struggle for equality, fairness
and respect that so many Americans strive for to this day.
Mumia?s cause has
created a political storm but after the politicians have said their piece, after
the court papers have been filed and the protestors have gone home, we are left
with a film about a man ? a father, a son, an inspiration and a pariah - who
faces his twenty-fifth year on Death Row.
story is, he is only one of 3,350 people currently on death row in the United
States. This film allows him not only to speak to us, but also on behalf of
those others who cannot find a voice.