Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Filmed behind the walls of New Jersey State Prison, this unsparing but generally optimistic documentary deals with the institution's LIFE (Learning Is For Everyone) literacy program. Nearly three fourths of the prisoners at State are unable to read or write, and the LIFE program is designed to tackle and hopefully conquer this dilemma. Highlights include scenes of the inmates gathering for round-robin reading sessions and helping other inmates not in the program to attain a measure of literacy. Several prisoners -- many of them with no prospect of ever being released -- are interviewed regarding the importance and influence of the LIFE program in their lives. Running 45 minutes, How Do You Spell Murder? was originally telecast in tandem with the similarly themed cable TV documentary Going Home on the Cinemax anthology series Reel Life.
illiteracy, prison, inmate, tutor, crime, learning-disabilities, reading-skills, communication, frustration, literacy, self-expression, volunteer, behind-the-scenes, dropout, GED (General Equivalency Degree), murder, poetry, poverty