FIN Review: Conviction gives a difficult view of how women end up incarcerated

Conviction is the type of documentary that’s so difficult to watch, but so incredibly necessary.

This trio of female directors, made up of Nance Ackerman, Arielle Pahlke and Teresa MacInnes, create a sharp, moving picture here.

It follows Caitlin, Laura, Treena, and Bianca, and shows how poverty, trauma, sexual abuse and other factors lead to the incarceration of female inmates.

Conviction doesn’t ask for prison form. What it searches for is much more than that. It aims for societal change, as it consistently asks the women in prison, “what would you have needed to not end up here?”

That central question flows through the film, and as we see and feel these women’s struggles, we understand how they ended up where they are.

Conviction asks tough questions. Should these women be in prison, or therapy and rehab? Imagine the money being spent to put them behind bars, and how important it could be in helping them recover.

This is a powerful, interesting look at this issue, and takes a stance that’s different from the norm. It’s a worthwhile endeavour for a myriad of reasons.

4/5 Stars

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