WOODPECKERS
CARPINTEROS
2017, Outsider Pictures, 106 min, Dominican Republic, Dir: José María Cabral

Dominican-Haitian Julián (Guadalajara International Film Festival Best Actor Jean Jean) begins a jail sentence for petty theft inside the notorious Najayo prison just outside Santo Domingo. While navigating the indignities, corruption and everyday violence from both guards and fellow inmates, he becomes immersed in the system of "Woodpecking," the unique sign language the male prisoners use to communicate with women in the adjacent penitentiary just 400 feet away. Love blossoms between Julián and one female inmate, Yanelly (Judith Rodriguez Perez), as they stand in windows and out in prison yards. Shot on location at the prison using real inmates for all but the lead roles, this knockout film is filled with atmosphere, sexuality, and grit.


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